LeBron James, Year 20: Legacy, scoring mark on Lakers' minds | Inquirer Sports
NBA

LeBron James, Year 20: Legacy, scoring mark on Lakers’ minds

/ 03:03 PM September 27, 2022
LeBron James takes question from the press at the Los Angeles Lakers media day on September 26, 2022 in El Segundo, California.

LeBron James takes question from the press at the Los Angeles Lakers media day on September 26, 2022 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

LeBron James weighed his options, peeked ahead and plotted a future with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James signed a two-year contract extension worth $97.1 million and is set to turn 38 in December, with redemption and legacy on his mind.

ADVERTISEMENT

He averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 56 games last season, but the Lakers missed the playoffs. Contractually tied to James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook — who opted back in with the Lakers for $47 million this season — general manager Rob Pelinka’s options were limited.

Pelinka said the Lakers informed James they were fully committed to building a winner around him. That includes trading draft picks and assets to overhaul the roster if the opportunity is presented.

FEATURED STORIES

“Let me be abundantly clear: We have one of the great players of all-time committed to our organization, we’re going to commit to him – including those picks – to see him to the finish line,” Pelinka said Monday, stopping short of guaranteeing Westbrook would play the entire season with the Lakers.

James has won four NBA championships, been named league MVP four times and been selected to 18 All-Star teams. He also has won two Olympic gold medal

He starts his 20th NBA season 1,325 points away from becoming the league’s leading scorer, overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“I’m kind of in awe of it, like, ‘Wow,'” James said at media day on Monday. “To sit here and to know that I’m on the verge of breaking probably the most sought after record in the NBA — it’s super humbling.”

First-year coach Darvin Ham said the Lakers won’t be asking James to play “playoff minutes in October, November and December.” James said it’s not important when or where the scoring record falls.

He averages 27.1 points per game in his career and, at that same pace, would chase down Abdul-Jabbar in his 47th game of the season.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Anytime someone mentions me with those greats it’s surreal. I don’t ever take these moments for granted,” James said.

Field Level Media

RELATED STORIES

NBA: Jeanie Buss wants LeBron James to retire with Lakers

LeBron James plans to stay with struggling Lakers

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.