James is rapidly approaching Abdul-Jabbar’s record that he set back in 1984, several months before James was even born. James, who put up 26 points on Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers, is just 63 points away from the record.
While it would make sense that one NBA great would be there to watch the other for such a historical milestone, many speculated that might not be the case. James and Abdul-Jabbar have had a rocky relationship — or no relationship at all, depending on who you ask — in recent years.
Abdul-Jabbar has criticized James multiple times in public in recent years, largely over the COVID-19 pandemic. He slammed James after he supported players who wanted to forgo receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and said James was “plain wrong — and his being wrong could be deadly, especially to the Black community.” He also ripped James for sharing a Spiderman meme falsely comparing COVID-19 to the cold and flu. James then doubled down on his take.
Abdul-Jabbar also apologized last year after saying that a lot of James’ social stances are “really beneath him.”
While Abdul-Jabbar has praised James plenty of times in the past and has said he’s rooting for James to break his scoring record, it was a comment that James made in October that really turned heads.
When asked if he had a relationship with Abdul-Jabbar and what he thought about potentially breaking the record this season, James was very clear.
“Nah, no thoughts. And no relationship,” he said.
Their strained relationship, however, apparently isn’t going to stop the two from being in the same building next week.