Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Explains Why There’s No Relationship Between Him And LeBron James
Earlier this week, LeBron James broke the NBA’s all-time scoring record, that Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had been holding since 1984. In the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, LeBron went for a tough fadeaway shot that went in – good for career points 38,387 and 38,388.
James’ predecessor, Abdul-Jabbar, has often criticized him for different things, such as LeBron’s stance on the Covid-19 vaccine an as well as his silence when it comes to criticizing China for its wrongdoings.
This is why it came as a surprise to many that Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance at Crypto.com Arena, and part of the celebrations, when LeBron James broke his all-time record. The two would even embrace, but it certainly looked a bit awkward for the people watching. James previously even said himself that he and Kareem Adbul-Jabbar have no relationship.
Then, earlier this week, Abdul-Jabbar addressed their tricky relationship, while mostly blaming himself.
“LeBron said we don’t have a relationship. He’s right — and for that I blame myself. Not for anything I did, but perhaps for not making more of an effort to reach out to him. By nature, I have never been a chummy, reaching-out kind of guy (as the media was always quick to point out). I’m quiet, shy, and am such a devoted homebody that you’d think I have agoraphobia.”
“I like to read, watch TV, and listen to jazz. That’s pretty much it. For the past 15 years my focus has been less on forming new relationships than on nurturing my old friendships with people like Magic, Michael Cooper, Jerry West, and so on.”
“That disconnect is on me. I knew the pressures he was under, and maybe I could have helped ease them a bit,” Abdul-Jabbar continued. “But I saw that LeBron had a friend and mentor in Kobe Bryant, and I was just an empty jersey in the rafters. I couldn’t imagine why he’d want to hang with someone twice his age. How many do?”