NBA

Abdul-Jabbar: LeBron James' off-court legacy even more impressive than breaking points record

By Sports Desk February 08, 2023

LeBron James' off-court legacy is even more impressive than becoming the NBA's all-time leading regular season points scorer, suggests Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

James broke Abdul-Jabbar's record on Tuesday in the Los Angeles Lakers' 133-130 defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder, with a fadeaway jump shot late in the third quarter seeing him pass the 38,387 points Abdul-Jabbar racked up with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Lakers before retiring in 1989.

James is also the fourth-highest assist maker in league history and has also won four NBA Championships, yet Abdul-Jabbar believes it is what the 38-year-old has done off the court that makes him so special.

The LeBron James Family Foundation set up a school in his hometown of Akron in Ohio, while also providing rent-free housing for up to 16 families for those in need.

James has also been active in his support of non-profit organisations and vocal on global issues, including the Black Lives Matter movement.

Abdul-Jabbar lauded James for his off-field activities, telling the TNT post-game crew: "What LeBron has done off the court is more important than what he has done on the court.

"He has sent kids to school. He has provided leadership and an example of how to live.

"I was very impressed with his family. His mum, I met her a couple of years ago when they played a couple playoff games in Cleveland. 

"LeBron came out and introduced me to his mum, so he really has the right values. Family, hard work, and all those things lead to success."

On the court, Abdul-Jabbar pointed to James' longevity and his leadership as the keys to his success, adding: "LeBron's career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game. 

"He got out of high school, he had the size and the talent to step right into the NBA, and he immediately started to have his effect.

"It's been going for almost 20 years now, so you've got to give him credit for the way he planned to last, and to dominate.

"He led teams to three world championships, and they didn't get there because of someone else and LeBron tagged along, LeBron led them. He has that indefinable essence that they call leadership.

"When he gets out there on the court and tries to get things done, guys want to get behind him and see that it happens, because they have that much respect for him and his talent."

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