LeBron James breaks NBA all-time points-scoring record
LeBron James has now scored more points than any other NBA player in history, surpassing fellow Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career total of 38,387 points.
LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Tuesday as the most prolific scorer in NBA history, breaking a 39-year record that many thought would never be broken.
Playing in his 20th season in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakes star passed Abdul-Jabbar's longstanding total of 38,387 points after nailing a 21-foot shot late in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
As the Crypto.com Arena erupted in a wild celebration of James' new record of 38,388 points, he flung his arms up in relief.
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Abdul-Jabbar was among the first to congratulate James, as play was interrupted to salute an iconic moment in NBA history. "To be able to be in the presence of a legend as great as Kareem it means so much to me," James told the crowd before thanking family, friends and fans.
"Everybody that's ever been part of this run with me these last 20 years, I just want to say I thank you so much because I wouldn't be me without all your help, all your passion and all your sacrifices to help me get to this point."
James also paid tribute to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and his predecessor, the late David Stern.
"Thank you guys so much for allowing me to be a part of something I've always dreamed about, and I would never ever in a million years have dreamt this even better than what it is tonight," James added before signing off with an F-bomb.
James stressed that this could be "one of the greatest records in sports in general."
"I think it's up there with the home run record in baseball. It's one of those records that you just don't ever see or think that would be broken."
Many in the NBA agreed, believing that Abdul-Jabbar's record was untouchable in the modern era. "I think most of us back then thought that record would never be broken," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said of Abdul-Jabbar's record last weekend.
"So to see LeBron do it over 20 years is pretty remarkable and a testament to not only his ability but his durability."
"He's just a machine. He's healthy and a physical force night after night."
Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat, who coached James to two of his four NBA titles in 2012 and 2013, said he had always assumed Abdul-Jabbar's record would never be broken. "I thought that would be untouchable," Spoelstra told NBA.com before James's record-breaking performance on Tuesday.
Tyronn Lue, James' former coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, considers the scoring record to be the pinnacle of his illustrious career.
"This has to be No. 1, seeing how long Kareem has held this record (since 1984). I know LeBron has his championships and MVPs. But to be the all-time leading scorer in NBA history, considering all the great players that have come through this game? That's a big-time accomplishment," Lue told NBA.com.