On Tuesday night, Crypto.com Arena was packed to the brim with the many notable names who’d gathered in Los Angeles in the hopes of seeing LeBron James break the NBA’s all-time scoring record during a matchup between the Lakers and the Thunder.
That star-studded crowd included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was posted up on the baseline to watch the superstar attempt to surpass the 38,387 points the Lakers legend put up over the course of his Hall of Fame career.
Kareem had made it pretty clear he was looking forward to seeing someone break the mark that had stood for close to 40 years prior to the contest.
However, plenty of viewers weren’t exactly convinced that was the case based on the expression on his face as LeBron inched closer to the 36 points he needed to become the new scoring king.
Kareem 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/WQ8cqZnsFw
— LakeShowYo (@LakeShowYo) February 8, 2023
When you consider Abdul-Jabbar not only agreed to participate in the in-game ceremony to honor what James was ultimately able to achieve by the end of the third quarter but graciously passed the proverbial torch to LeBron after he was unseated, it’s pretty absurd to think he was actually salty about the inevitable development.
This moment between Kareem and LeBron is something special. pic.twitter.com/NygObZsn7p
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 8, 2023
On Wednesday, Kareem attempted to put any of those doubts to rest on the Substack he routinely uses to share his thoughts on a wide variety of matters in the basketball world and beyond.
The post in question saw him touch on his relationship (or lack thereof) with the man who topped him and address the skeptics who somehow can’t fathom why he wouldn’t be mad about being passed on the list of scoring leaders, stressing “Whenever a sports record is broken—including mine—it’s a time for celebration.”
He elaborated on that matter a bit more while discussing the only legacy that truly matters to him now that he’s 75, saying:
“Here’s the main reason I don’t care that much about my record being broken: I’m no longer focused on my basketball legacy as much as I am on my social legacy.
I’m not trying to build a billion-dollar empire, I write articles in defense of democracy and advocating on behalf of the marginalized. (Maybe the billions will roll in eventually if I write a really, really great article.)
I also am deeply involved in my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, which treats disadvantaged kids to week-long STEM education in the Angeles National Forest. That and my family are all I have the energy for.”
That should settle that.