Abdul-Jabbar says James’ off-court work has been ‘more important’ than his NBA records


LeBron James broke Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s all-time NBA scoring record on Tuesday night against the Thunder, but the Laker great is even prouder of his successor’s off-court accomplishments.

In 2018, James opened the I Promise School in his native Akron, Ohio, for underserved children, who are eligible to attend the University of Akron for free as part of a 2015 agreement with the LeBron James Family Foundation.

And while Abdul-Jabbar has chided James in the past, he gave the Lakers star huge praise after his 38-point performance on Tuesday.

“What LeBron has done off the court is more important than what he’s done on the court,” Abdul-Jabbar told TNT after the game.

He has sent children to school, provided leadership and an example of how to live.

Abdul-Jabbar added in a Substack release posted on Wednesday: ‘Top on me and LeBron: LeBron makes me love the game again. And he makes me proud to be part of a growing group of athletes who actively care about his community.”

The Hall of Famer’s kind words come less than a year after he told reporters that James “should be ashamed of some of the things he’s done.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James hug after James broke all-time scoring mark

Abdul-Jabbar took place in an on-court ceremony after the record was broken

Abdul-Jabbar took place in an on-court ceremony after the record was broken

‘Some of the great things he’s done, he’s standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know? It’s hard for me to accept when he’s committed to taking a different perspective on everything. It’s hard to know where you stand. You have to check it all the time,’ he said.

Abdul-Jabbar, in particular, had trouble with James for two things last season.

First, he condemned James’ celebration after a 3-pointer in overtime against the Pacers, in which he imitated the “big balls” dance made famous by former All-Star Sam Cassell.

‘Why do you need to do a stupid childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? Has no sense. GOATs don’t dance,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote on his Substack at the time in November 2021.

The following month, Abdul-Jabbar again criticized James for his social media activity after sharing a Spider-Man meme about COVID.

The meme photo showed identical Spider-Man pointing at each other with added labels of ‘Covid’, ‘cold’ and ‘flu’, suggesting the illnesses were the same.

Abdul-Jabbar believed the post was a “blow to [James’] worthy legacy’.

However, the six-time NBA champion made his feelings for James clear in Wednesday’s Substack post.

James sealed the record with a faded jumper late in the third quarter against the Thunder

James sealed the record with a faded jumper late in the third quarter against the Thunder

The star now has 38,390 points, a total he will look to increase further in his career.

The star now has 38,390 points, a total he will look to increase further in his career.

“While it’s true that I’ve given him a couple of minor jabs over vaccine protocols, which in my opinion was the kind of nudge one teammate does with another, I know LeBron is too accomplished, mature and smart to keep him resentment”. something so insignificant,’ he said.

“That is why I do not want my fans to tarnish or mislead in any way his enormous achievement. It’s about LeBron doing something no one else has done, scoring more points than anyone else has in 75 years. There are no ‘ifs, buts’, only praise where it is due with justice and rectitude’.

In addition to founding I Promise School, James fought voter suppression with his group ‘More Than a Vote’.

Abdul-Jabbar also shed light on the couple’s lack of a relationship.

lebron said [before the season] we don’t have a relationship. He’s right, and for that I blame myself. Not because of anything I did, but maybe because I didn’t make more of an effort to get closer to him,” Abdul-Jabbar said.

“By nature, I have never been a friendly and talkative guy (as the media was always quick to point out). I’m quiet, shy and such a devoted homebody you’d think I had agoraphobia. I like to read, watch TV, listen to jazz. That is practically all. For the past 15 years my focus has been less on forming new relationships than on nurturing my old friendships with the likes of Magic, Michael Cooper, Jerry West, etc.

“I think the main reason I never bonded with LeBron (again, my fault) is simply our age difference. I set my scoring record in 1984, the year LeBron was born. By the time he started making a name for himself, I was already pretty far removed from the NBA world. Except for certain black-tie events, I was just like any other fan, watching games on my TV in my sweatpants while eating too many unhealthy snacks.

‘That disconnection is in me. She knew the pressures she was under and maybe she could have helped ease them a bit. But I saw that LeBron had a friend and mentor in Kobe Bryant and I was just an empty jersey in the rafters. She couldn’t imagine why he would want to hang out with someone twice his age. How many do?

On the court, Abdul-Jabbar believes the 38-year-old will add to his 38,390 points, as he told TNT.

“It’s going to extend this record even further, and it will be interesting to see how far it goes,” he said.