No, LeBron James Isn't Seriously Practicing the Skyhook
LeBron James is on the cusp of breaking the NBA's all-time scoring record so I sincerely hope you're prepared for an onslaught of pieces about the significance of his achievement. In one such article, The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported James has been working hard on perfecting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's patented skyhook as a tribute for passing him on the list. It turns out, that report may be a bit overblown.
Vardon's article about the chase and LeBron's place in history is excellent, but the story about the skyhook is what's getting attention. Here's the quote from the article:
But of late, he and his confidants had begun discussing the record almost daily. There were important details to be ironed out. Such as where might it happen? If he could time it with the upcoming two-game homestand that starts Tuesday night against Oklahoma City, he could do it with Kareem in attendance.
And what about the “how?” If he gets to 38,386 points and a two-pointer will break the record, what’s the milestone-setting shot going to be? Before the game in Indianapolis last week, James worked on Kareem’s skyhook with his trainers.
Reactions to that story were swift. Some believed it was a nice tribute to the man who has held the NBA's scoring record for decades, while others thought it seemed a bit cheesy and James may have been trying a bit too hard. Then Uproxx's Robby Kalland threw cold water on the entire thing.
Turns out Kalland was in attendance during the skyhook incident and said James and Damian Jones were doing it as a joke and were just having fun while throwing them up. Kalland implies that it was clear to all in attendance that it wasn't a serious exercise:
So it would appear LeBron is not actively working on the skyhook to break the record with.
James is likely to break the record some time this week, possibly in the Los Angeles Lakers' game Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.