As now the second most prolific scorer in NBA history, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t bitter or mad that his all-time scoring record was surpassed by LeBron James yesterday.
“A record is nothing if you used other players’ careers as stepping stones just for self-aggrandizement. For me, I strove to play at the highest level I could in order to be a good teammate. The points—and the record—were simply a by-product of that philosophy,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote after the game.
“I think LeBron has the same philosophy.”
Abdul-Jabbar even corrected his old teammate Magic Johnson, who thought it would be a “bitter pill to swallow” once James broke the record.
He said Johnson “was very, very wrong. I don’t blame him for thinking that I might be bothered because he knows how competitive I used to be.”
The former Laker has totally different priorities these days and wanted to make sure people knew that:
“Here’s the main reason I don’t care that much about my record being broken: I’m no longer focused on my basketball legacy as much as I am on my social legacy,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
“I’m not trying to build a billion-dollar empire, I write articles in defense of democracy and advocating on behalf of the marginalized. (Maybe the billions will roll in eventually if I write a really, really great article.) I also am deeply involved in my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, which treats disadvantaged kids to week-long STEM education in the Angeles National Forest. That and my family are all I have the energy for. (Did I mention, I’m 75!)”