No. 5: Scoring Crown
It seemed unimaginable years ago that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record would belong to someone else. That’s even with guys like Kobe Bryant and James setting records for the youngest player ever to hit 25K points.
Abdul-Jabbar’s signature move was his sky-hook, a near indefensible shot, deadly from close-to-mid range. It also helped that the Tower of Power stood at 7’2” and competed for 20 years in pro ball.
James was graced with the same gift of longevity, and lucky for him, he plays in a way-less physical era than Abdul-Jabbar. The Akron Hammer may have the size of a big man and the skills to play like one, but he incorporated everything into his game. Officially he’s a forward, but he has always moved like a guard.
On Feb. 7, when the Oklahoma City Thunder visited Lakerland, James snatched the scoring crown with a fadeaway jumper over Kenrich Williams at the elbow. On his way there, he isolated defenders in the corner, scored on rim runs after screens, and attacked drop coverage.
The record is about skill as much as it is competitive lastingness. With respect to some of the illustrious scorers in NBA history, many of them never logged so many minutes. In fact, only Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone have logged more regular season time than James.