Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Jaleen Smith in Frankfurt in 2022
Jaleen Smith (190-SG-1994, college: UNH, agency: BeoBasket) is a 28 year old 193cm guard from Freeport, Texas that is playing his sixth professional season and second with Alba Berlin . He played two seasons with the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg averaging 15.2ppg, 5.0rpg, Assists-3 (5.3apg), Steals-2 (1.8spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.7%, FT: 87.5%; and 10.7ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 33.6%, FT: 82,8% the season before. In 2018-2019 he played with the MLP Academics Heidelberg (Germany-ProA) averaging 12,7ppg, 3,9rpg and 2,7apg. He played with New Hampshire (NCAA) from 2013-2017 where he played a total of 120 NCAA games. He improved his scoring, rebounding and assists average each season and as a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.8ppg, 6.4rpg, 4.3apg, FGP: 52.4%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 78.1%. He spoke to eurobasket.com about his thoughts about Lebron James beating the NBA all-time scoring title of Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Lebron James has beaten Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record. Did you stay up to watch history?
No I didn’t stay up. We had practice the next day in preparation for a Euroleague game against Olympiakos. I went to sleep, but saw the highlights the next morning with his shot and celebration.
How does one put this record into perspective best? It stood almost 40 years?
I’ts absolutely crazy. I grew up watching him play since 2003. I witnessed him not really being considered a scorer. It is crazy to see this milestone by him.
He scored 38 points in 26 minutes. Was it another normal day at the office?
You could see that he wanted the title so bad. 38 in 26 minutes is crazy. He is so efficient. Being able to score so much in so little time for his age is amazing.
How much is that ball going to be worth?
It might be worth millions. I won’t say billions. The record stood almost 40 years and Lebron being Lebron will make the ball worth very much.
Russell Westbrook made the pass. Do you think that in 20 years the pass could be remembered more than his triple doubles?
The record is all about Lebron. The pass won’t be remembered as much as Westbrook’s triple doubles. He had the most triple doubles in a single season. The greatest passer to the greatest scorer of all-time.
Magic Johnson may have a say with the greatest passer phrase.
His record breaking basket was a step back over Kenrich Williams. Is that the kind of shot you expected knowing the kind of player he is? Or would you have expected a dunk for the spectacular finish?
I was expecting a dunk. But you just go with the course of the game. A dunk could of happened, but the way it was set up, it was just a typical play for him to make his fade away.
There obviously is a lot of respect for Kareem, by the basketball world, but what would have happened on social media if Lebron had gotten the record with a sky hook shot?
Every person’s timeline would have exploded if he had made the record with a sky hook.
Kareem is such a gentleman. You didn’t grow up with him, but what does his legacy mean to younger guys? Can they even understand what that guy did?
I don’t understand it. Kareem was a little before my time. I really know him more from 2K. But I know that he was one of the most dominant big men of all-time. When he came into the league with the Bucks, there wasn’t much film on him. More clips of him surfaced when he played with the Lakers and Magic. I knew his game off a video game. That just tells you how great he was.
Lebron will have more than 40,000 points when it’s all over. Back in 1984 people said it would never be broken? Will this record be broken?
I think it can. The game has changed. There are more possessions now and more scoring. I don’t think that it will be broken in the near future. I think that there could be a couple guys that could break it. The game is so much more fast paced now.
If Luka Doncic continues to play to 40 stays fit and becomes a physical specimen like Lebron, could he dethrone him?
If he gets as fit as Lebron he could. Lebron and Luka are alike. Lebron is more athletic and Luka the better shooter.
Does this record finally give Lebron the GOAT status over Michael Jordan?
That is tough. Jordan changed the game. You can watch all clips of him. You understand why he plays the way he did. He never wanted to lose. Lebron has the competitive edge, but it isn’t at the same level of Jordan. That is what gives Jordan the edge in the GOAT debate for me.
What is your favorite Lebron moment that you witnessed live or on TV?
I never saw him play live. Lebron and Anthony Davis watched a NBA Summer League game when I played. My favorite highlight of him when he played Detroit and the Cavs were on the verge of elimination early in his career at the old palace. He scored the last 25 points in the game. When I saw that I thought wow this kid is really good. I really began to follow his career after that. He went crazy in that game.
Thanks Jaleen for the chat.
Tags : JALEEN SMITH, ALBA BERLIN, GERMAN BASKETBALL