LeBron James has entered year 19 in the NBA, trying to dominate the competition once again. The King is ready to lead his Los Angeles Lakers to another championship following a tumultuous 2020/21 campaign.
He's still chasing the ghost in Chicago, aiming to become the greatest player of all time by the end of his career. The 4x NBA champion is already considered the GOAT by many fans, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to prove doubters wrong.
James is on the quest of that 5th title, which would put him closer to Michael Jordan's 6. Moreover, he can still set and break records in the league to have a better bid at the GOAT title. Recently, Shaquille O'Neal claimed that surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer would make LeBron the greatest to ever do it.
Via Los Angeles Times:
As O’Neal walked and signed autographs Tuesday, he began his conversation by saying that if James passes Hall of Fame member and Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and becomes the all-time leading scorer in NBA history, there would be no doubt that “LeBron is the best player — ever.”
Yes, O’Neal thinks James would surpass the incomparable Michael Jordan, widely considered the best to ever play in the NBA and someone James holds in high regard.
“I know what he’s doing,” O’Neal said while eating some roast beef. “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.”
James (35,401) could surpass Karl Malone (36,928) later this season for the 2nd position on this list. He has averaged 27.0 PPG during his 18-year NBA career. If the veteran can keep this pace for at least two more seasons, he'll be sitting at the top of this list, which O'Neal believes would end the competition for Bron.
“He’s got four rings and he becomes the highest scorer in the NBA history. He’s the best ever,” O’Neal said. “Ain’t nothing you can say.”
“‘Cause if I would have passed Wilt [Chamberlain] in scoring, you know me. I would have been, ‘I’m the most dominant ever.’ I don’t want to hear [Chamberlain’s] name no more.”
Even if Bron never wins another title, Shaq believes that surpassing Kareem on the all-time scoring list would be enough for James to become the undisputed GOAT.
“I mean, that’s what he is really trying to do,” O’Neal said. “Ring No. 5 would be cool, but if he gets that leading scorer, the highest scorer ever in the league … I’d take that.
“He’d be No. 1,” O’Neal continued. “He’d be the leading scorer. Me, I want to be the leading scorer in the league because now it ain’t no conversation about who is the best ever in the league. Who is going to break it? Nobody.”
LeBron is always looking for more. He's not as aggressive or vocal as Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan when discussing his future plans. Still, his mentality is the same as the two other legends.
He has a big chance to become the all-time leading scorer, which massively changes the perception around him. There are just a few things James is left to do in the association. Perhaps, as Shaq says, reaching this incredibly hard milestone is the cherry on the top for his memorable career.