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NBA: Losing scoring title to LeBron will be a ‘bitter pill’ for Kareem, says Magic


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) drives into the basket during the fourth half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) drives into the basket during the fourth half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Crypto.com Arena. Kiyoshi Mio-USA Sports TODAY

LOS ANGELES — Lakers forward LeBron James is on track to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time top scorer this season and when he does, it’s unlikely to sit well with center Hall of Fame, Magic Johnson said.

James needs 1,244 points to eclipse Abdul-Jabbar, who has held the record since April 1984.

“I don’t think so well,” Johnson said when asked on a podcast how he thinks Abdul-Jabbar will handle losing the title he’s held for nearly four decades.

“Let’s be honest. And the fact that it’s also a guy playing for the Lakers. It’s a dude playing in LA. I think that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow.”

Abdul-Jabbar, the six-time champion and six-time MVP whose shot is almost unstoppable, is sometimes unfairly overlooked as the greatest player to have ever played the game but the his supporters can always point to the title goal.

Johnson said that Abdul-Jabbar probably never believed that anyone would surpass his regular 38,387 total.

“I think he thought he was going to have it forever,” Johnson said.

Retired professional basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar delivers his acceptance speech after receiving the WEB Du Bois Medal, Harvard's highest honor in African-American and African-American studies at home singing Sanders by Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on October 6, 2022.

FILE – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP)

James raised his eyebrows earlier this month when he was asked about his thoughts on the possibility of getting over Abdul-Jabbar and his relationship with him and gave a short and cold answer.

“No thoughts and no relationships,” James said.

Abdul-Jabbar, who, like James, is a strong advocate of social justice activism, Criticize James when he says getting vaccinated for COVID-19 is a personal choice. He also called some of James’ on-field celebrations “stupid and childish”.

Johnson said he wishes the pair had a better relationship and believes they will come together on the road.

“I think that one day it will happen, and if I could play a part in it, I would love to,” Johnson said.

“But let him overtake him first. Let that soak for a minute, and then put the two men together because they’ll find out they look alike. “

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