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Let’s All Celebrate LeBron James Without the GOAT Debate

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Last night, LeBron James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s All-time NBA scoring record in the third quarter of the Lakers’ game against the Thunder.

For those of us who grew up watching Kareem play, that was a record that we all thought would stand the test of time.

We thought Jordan might break it, but when he left the game for a few years, that thought was gone.

After his final retirement, the thought of breaking Kareem’s record became so far-fetched that it wasn’t even debated.

Then the Cleveland Cavaliers selected LeBron James as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The basketball phenom came straight out of high school and was immediately compared with other high school standouts such as Moses Malone, Kevin Garnett, Tracey McGrady and Kobe Bryant.

But as the years progressed and LeBron kept growing, scoring and making NBA Finals appearances, Kareem’s scoring record slowly crept back into the conversation.

LeBron asserted himself in the league quickly. No longer was he a teenager. He was a grown man quickly becoming a dominant force that teams had to reckon with.

Whether you loved him or hated him, you had to respect him because he was accomplishing something special almost every year, starting in his rookie season, where he averaged 20. points, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

And that was just the start of things to come.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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