LeBron James feels he’s the ‘greatest basketball player to ever play’

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LeBron James will become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in the next few days, if not hours, beating the Los Angeles Lakers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the prestigious list.

James’ achievement will most likely be celebrated in the Lakers’ next two games when Los Angeles welcomes the Oklahoma City Thunder and Milwaukee Bucks to Crypto.com Stadium.

Lebron James doing his famous chalk throw before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 30, 2022 in Los Angeles. Lebron has played for the Lakers the past five seasons. (Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)

With the four-time NBA champion Just 36 points shy of the record, James is preparing to add another achievement to his list, which will only help his case in the «greatest of all time» debate.

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But while becoming the greatest scorer in basketball history is an incredible feat, it still won’t end the GOAT conversation in basketball circles between James and Michael Jordan.

And James knows it.

«I’m going to let everyone else decide where (the scoring record) puts me,» James told the Southern California News Group in an exclusive interview. «It’s not for me to say now, ‘OK, I’m this or that.'»

For years, the debate has raged among fans of the game as to whether James or Jordan is the greatest of all time.

NBA legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James shake hands during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

NBA legends Michael Jordan and LeBron James shake hands during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on February 20, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s an impossible debate to resolve with both greats playing in very different eras of basketball.

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But that doesn’t mean James is shy about sharing how he sees himself.

«What I bring to the table as a basketball player… I feel like I’m the best basketball player to ever play,» James told SCNG. «That’s just my confidence, that’s what I bring to the table, what I possess. But as far as whether the scoring record takes me to another level, I don’t know.»

James gave his opinion when asked about Dirk Nowitzki’s position James becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer may affect your opinion of the GOAT of basketball.

«I always say that Michael Jordan is the GOAT … if he really surpasses Kareem in the scoring record, I’m running out of arguments for Michael,» Nowitzki said in December.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on February 4, 2023 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on February 4, 2023 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Playing for 20 seasons, James’ numbers are staggering.

A four-time NBA champion, four-time MVP and 19-time All-Star, James has led his teams to 10 NBA Finals appearances, winning championships with three different organizations.

In his 20th season, James hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down, averaging 30.0 points, 7.1 assists and 8.5 rebounds per game.

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And yet, the only way for James to end the GOAT conversation is to tie Jordan’s six championships, which seems more far-fetched with each passing day as the Lakers look to reach the postseason.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw during a game against the Detroit Pistons on November 28, 2021 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots a free throw during a game against the Detroit Pistons on November 28, 2021 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Even if James finds a way to tie or surpass Jordan’s championships, the debate will continue long after his career is over, with some not even allowing his name to be mentioned at the same time as Jordan’s.

But, in the next few days, possibly Tuesday night against the Thunder, James will end a conversation when he becomes the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

When it comes to the greatest scorer in NBA history, James will have settled that debate.

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