LeBron James: ‘Pisses me off’ not to be mentioned among best scorers of all-time


LeBron James has scored more points, regular season and playoffs combined, than anyone in NBA history.*

LeBron on “The Shop“:

When they talk about the best scorers of all-time, they never mention my name.

Yeah, it pisses me off. It pisses me off. They don’t ever bring my name into it.

Also LeBron: “I don’t want to be labeled as a scorer.”

There’s a narrow window for LeBron not to be contradicting himself: He doesn’t want to be pigeonholed as a scorer but still wants credit for scoring within his all-around game.

But that 2017 quote wasn’t an aberration. LeBron has actively resisted the “scorer” label over the years. That influences opinion.

So, the way he’s now pining for more recognition as a scorer, induces at least some eye rolling.

But LeBron needs somewhere to channel his angst during this miserable Lakers season

For a time, that was toward Lakers management (until reaching a détente). On the day this show was recorded, it was toward people who didn’t list him among the greatest-ever scorers.

Really, LeBron explained the underlying issue just earlier in the episode (warning: profanity). He actively seeks perceived haters to use as motivation. No problem. Many athletes do that. But that doesn’t mean we must treat LeBron’s takes on his greatness and playing style as gospel. He has not only bias but an agenda that doesn’t square with honest self-assessment.

The way I like to put it. Among the best passers of all-time, LeBron is – by far – the best scorer. Among the best scorers of all-time, LeBron is – by far – the best passer.

*Though a major accomplishment, it’s a misleading distinction. The playoffs – four best-of-seven rounds – have never been longer. It’s a big advantage when current players get at least four first-round games to accumulate playoff stats. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whose record LeBron broke, sometimes advanced straight to the conference semifinals under his era’s postseason format. Even when playing in the first round, it was initially best-of-three then best-of-five.

But LeBron on track to break Abdul-Jabbar’s career regular-season scoring mark – the preeminent record – anyway. LeBron deserves to be discussed among the greatest scorers ever.