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LeBron on catching Kareem for all-time scoring title: “I will not allow myself to think about it”

Michael Smith argues that the NBA should not always include a play-in tournament going forward because teams like the Lakers don't deserve a chance to play in the playoffs.

Saturday night in our nation’s capital, LeBron James passed Hall of Famer Karl Malone for second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

After his 38-point game against the Wizards, LeBron now has 36,947 points. That is just 1,440 points short of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time mark.

Even if LeBron’s scoring pace slows down from the second-best in the NBA 29.8 a game he is averaging this season — a ridiculous number at age 37 — LeBron is still on pace to pass Abdul-Jabbar somewhere around the middle of next season.

After Saturday’s game, LeBron said he wasn’t going to think about it.

“I will not allow myself to think about it,” James said. “I’ve always just played the game the way I’ve been playing it over the years, and these things have just happened organically by just going out and playing the game the right way. Hope to accomplish that at some point in my career, but I won’t think about it too much.”

It will be hard not to think about it with the hype that will come as he nears the record next season — it will be the biggest story going in sports when it happens. And bring another round of “is LeBron the GOAT” debates.

LeBron has earned all the praise and historical comparisons that will come with that discussion, he is unquestionably on the Mount Rushmore of NBA players. His passing Kareem will be part of his GOAT resume and one of the first things mentioned in retrospectives of his career. He may not be thinking about it, but LeBron knows what it means.