Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal believes LeBron James’ foremost aim is to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in scoring. Shaq further states that James’ GOAT status would be unquestionable if he surpasses Kareem.
Though the season opener may have been a disappointing affair for the LA Lakers, LeBron James looked his best, scoring 34-points, 11-rebounds, 5-assists. The four-time champion was 56.5% from the field and 45.5% from the 3-point line, putting the league on notice, who believed its father time for him.
Former Laker and Inside the NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal had an interesting take on James’ performance last night. Big Diesel believes the 36-year old has set his eyes on surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leader in scoring, which would make him the undisputed GOAT.
James currently ranks 3rd on the list with 35,401 points and 2,986 points away from dethroning Kareem. The King needs to average 18.4 PPG in the next two seasons to surpass Kareem. In all probability, James wouldn’t have to wait for two seasons, considering he averaged 25 PPG last season.
Though James will ultimately clinch the scoring title, it is highly doubtful that his GOAT status will be unquestionable. The GOAT debate has and will always be an endless conversation.
Shaquille O’Neal states that LeBron James is only chasing the scoring title this season.
Shaq was present at the Staples Center for his award-winning show Inside the NBA. The show had a great start with its stellar cast, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson, and Shaq himself.
Post the show, Shaq would head to the green room and begin a conversation of how James would be the undisputed GOAT if he surpasses Kareem as the all-time leading scorer.
“I know what he’s doing,” O’Neal said. “Championships are great, but he’s trying to pass Kareem up. That’s what he is doing. I know exactly what he’s doing. ‘Cause now if you pass Kareem up, it ain’t no talk about who the best player ever is. Think about that? I saw he needed to average  points or something like that the next few years, which he will do. He can do that in two more years.”
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No doubt, surpassing Kareem will give James ample ammunition in the GOAT conversation. However, it ending the debate between him and Michael Jordan seems far from possible. As MJ still leads the Lakers superstar in championships and Final MVPs, 6-4.
Nobody can question James’ greatness. However, stating him as the greatest to ever play the sport created by James Naismith might be an injustice to other legends of the sport.