Shortly after LeBron James passed Shaquille O’Neal as the fourth all-time leading scorer in the NBA playoffs, he received a pat on the back and hug from Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
James passed O’Neal, a former teammate, during Thursday’s Game 2 win over Toronto. In the game, James recorded his 15th career triple-double in the playoffs with 23 points, 11 boards and 11 assists. The win game Cleveland a 2-0 lead in the NBA Eastern Conference finals.
James has 5,255 career points during the playoffs.
He is just three assists short of passing Jason Kidd for third on the all-time assists lists for the postseason.
James said that at times growing up as a kid in the inner city he sometimes felt he could not make it into the NBA let alone become one of the best and join rare company amongst the basketball royalty.
James moved into fourth place in career postseason scoring with a layup during the third quarter. He started Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals needing just 19 points to move past O’Neal and James had 17 at halftime.
James did not only pass one former great of the Los Angeles Lakers, but he was embraced by another big man from the Lakers.
While in route to the locker room following the game on Thursday night, James was happy to see that Abdul-Jabbar was waiting for him. The two embraced and spoke for about 10 seconds.
James has a great deal of respect for those in the sport that helped pave the way for him and others to play. He called Abdul-Jabbar a legend and said he slowed down while entering the locker room so he could embrace the legend.
James added that Abdul-Jabbar did so much for the game with the championship runs he had with Los Angeles brought a great deal of interest to the sport. Some of the all time best NBA finals pitted the Lakers versus the Boston Celtics.
Abdul-Jabbar is the all time leading NBA scorer and won numerous national championships in college with UCLA and in the NBA while with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
James concluded his talk about Abdul-Jabbar by saying he puts him in a class with other athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and Jim Brown. He called the moment very cool.
James trails Michael Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant in all time scoring in the postseason.