LeBron James and his incredible achievements will forever be attached to one question: "Is he the GOAT?" With other NBA legends such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan in the mix, it is difficult to truly answer that question without debate. LeBron doesn't have as many rings as MJ or Russell; Magic led a team that was squarely his own to multiple championships against the league's best in Larry Bird's Celtics; and even Kareem has his league-altering play style to hang his hat on. What does LeBron James have? Well, as of Feb. 7, 2023, James is the NBA's all-time scoring leader, passing Abdul-Jabbar. King James sits alone on the scoring throne.
LeBron James Stands Alone
Heading into the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, it felt as if LeBron's moment had arrived. Not only were the Oklahoma City Thunder living in the Western Conference's cellar, but the timing felt right for LeBron to take back control of his season. Things have not been going well for Los Angeles this season; and while there was some hope that the Lakers would land Kyrie Irving from the Nets, that hope fizzled and died. Instead, Irving went to the Dallas Mavericks, and LeBron was left with a ragtag roster, staring down a second consecutive playoff miss. Simply put, LeBron needed a win.
The funny thing about Laker greats in important games is that they almost take on a magical quality. Kobe's 60-plus point performance in his final NBA game still doesn't feel real. LeBron's scoring-record game had that same feeling. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter, LeBron hit a floater over OKC's Kenrich Williams.
We all knew it was going in. How could it not? This 38-year-old legend, whom we all began watching when he was in high school — who has held the NBA world in his hand for the last two decades, who has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in his career — this basketball god simply had to make this shot. It was his moment.
When discussing James' claim to the title of NBA GOAT, the main point that fans can make is he makes every player around him better. LeBron knows the importance of his presence, not just to the team on the court but also to the city he plays for. LeBron is a selfless player who no longer cares about the Larry O'Brien trophies he's won or the rings sitting on his mantle. But, for one moment, LeBron had a moment all to his own. In that moment, LeBron James stood alone, atop the NBA's scoring list. And all of us, we were all witnesses to his greatness.
Sure, the Lakers lost the game 133-130, but who really cares about the final score when history is made?
MORE: The Bronny James Sweepstakes: How LeBron's Desire to Play With His Son Boosts His NBA Draft Stock
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