Kareem Abdul-Jabbar thinks LeBron can break record
MAY 05, 2013 5:16p ET
MIAMI — The cliche might be that records are made to be broken. But Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn’t sure yet whether he feels that way about LeBron James.
Abdul-Jabbar, whose six NBA MVP awards are the most collected by any player, offered congratulations Sunday to the Miami Heat star for becoming the fifth man to win four or more. And Abdul-Jabbar is well aware James, 28, eventually could top his mark.
“As long as LeBron stays healthy and keeps playing the game at a high level, he, of course, could break my record,’’ Abdul-Jabbar wrote in an email to FOX Sports Florida minutes after James had been awarded his latest trophy. “The challenges he faces are getting injured or losing interest.’’
So how would Abdul-Jabbar feel if James topped his record, which has stood since the center won his sixth MVP in 1980?
“I don't know how I will feel until it happens,’’ Abdul-Jabbar wrote.
In the meantime, Abdul-Jabbar welcomed James into an elite club. The only other players to have won four or more NBA MVP trophies are Bill Russell (five), Michael Jordan (five) and Wilt Chamberlain (four).
“It's a great achievement for LeBron,’’ wrote Abdul-Jabbar, who won MVPs with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, 1972 and 1974 and with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976 and 1977 in addition to 1980. “He has grown as a leader and it's great to see him maturing in a positive way. His talent and work ethic are commendable and I have great respect for what he has achieved.
“I think LeBron has emerged as the dominant player of this era. He is certainly one of the great players of the game and has earned his spot among the elite.’’
James, who turned 28 last December, is the youngster player to have won a fourth MVP. Abdul-Jabbar was two weeks shy of his 29th birthday when he was awarded his fourth in 1976.
After James won his third MVP last year, Heat president Pat Riley said he could break Abdul-Jabbar’s record. Riley was a Lakers assistant when Abdul-Jabbar claimed his final MVP and was the team’s head coach with Abdul-Jabbar as his center from 1981-89.
Dwyane Wade is the latest high-profile Heat figure to state publicly that James could break Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
“Why not?’’ Wade told FOX Sports Florida on Saturday. “He’s got four. He’s got a long time to play. I think he can.’’
Stay tuned to see how Abdul-Jabbar might feel if that eventually happens.