NBA

LeBron relaxed about breaking Kareem's points record: 'I'm going to do it, it's not heavy'

By Sports Desk February 01, 2023

LeBron James is completely relaxed about breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record NBA points total after moving another step closer during the Los Angeles Lakers' 129-123 win over the New York Knicks.

James played a starring role on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden, becoming the first 38-year-old to ever record a 20-point triple-double as he finished with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Those 10 assists saw him overtake Steve Nash on the all-time leaderboard for NBA assists, with James now fourth on 10,336.

He remains 908 behind still-active Chris Paul in third, but the record that all eyes are on is overall points.

James' 28 here leaves him 88 off Abdul-Jabbar's record (38,387), meaning he is likely to surpass to his fellow Lakers great either on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans, or three days later against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Some athletes might get nervous when approaching such a milestone, but James is utterly at ease with the situation due to it essentially being a formality.

"It's not getting heavier," James said.

"I'm going to do it. I mean, it's just a matter of time when I'm going to do it.

"It's not heavy. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be in this league for at least a few more years.

"I'm going to do it. It's not heavy at all."

There is also an element of anticipation from James' team-mates, with it set to be a momentous moment for everyone associated with the Lakers when he does break the record.

That is not lost on Anthony Davis.

"The team is very excited," he added. "It's probably going to be a surreal moment for all of us, but probably more so him... Obviously, whatever game it is, we want to be able to win the game."

But much of the focus around James on Tuesday related to his assists and overtaking Nash.

"It's amazing because that's just what I love to do and get my guys involved," James continued.

"Anytime you link with some of the greats – Mark Jackson played here, was drafted here by the Knicks, so it's a super cool thing. And obviously, we know when Nash was [in the league]; I played against him for many, many years. His ability to pass the ball was very uncanny."

Lakers coach Darvin Ham also paid tribute to James, saluting him for ignoring criticism about his game over the years and continuing to play true to himself.

"He's just a kid who's grown before our eyes. The last 20 years at this level, has done nothing but play the right way and make the play that's in front of him," Ham said.

"Regardless of how much he's been criticised for a while for not taking the last shots and the overpassing, he's just making the right plays. You saw that again tonight."

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