LeBron James sets NBA all-time scoring record

When LeBron James hit a successful fadeaway jumper from the foul line on Tuesday night, the crowd at Arena in Los Angeles went wild.

Though James, 38, has long since been heralded by his fans as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), with that impressive basket, he officially claimed the title. The point against the Oklahoma City Thunder confirmed James, who plays for the L.A. Lakers, as the NBA‘s all-time highest-scoring player.

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The former record was held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387 points during his NBA career. He had held the record since 1984.

It took Abdul-Jabbar, who is often referred to as Captain, 1,560 games to set the record. James played just over 1,400 to beat it.

James’ 38,388th point came as he overpowered Thunder’s Kenrich Williams with only 10.9 seconds remaining in the game’s third quarter. Though James is known in part for his cool demeanour, he had tears in his eyes after scoring the point.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James appears to tear up after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday in Los Angeles. AP

The game paused for an impromptu ceremony as James’ wife and children joined him on the court. Abdul-Jabbar, who was also present, shared a warm hug with James before ceremonially exchanging a basketball in a simple, touching gesture.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke to the crowd as Abdul-Jabbar stood by James’ side.

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“LeBron, you are the NBA’s all-time scoring leader,” Silver announced.

The crowd was heard chanting “MVP!”

“I just want to say, thank you to the Laker faithful. You guys are one of a kind,” James said. “To be able to be in the presence of such a legend as great as Kareem, it’s very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to the Captain, please.”

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Ultimately though, the Lakers lost against the Thunder 133-130. James scored 38 points.

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James has four championship rings and nearly every other honour available to a basketball player.

He signed with the Lakers in 2018. James has already earned a special place in the hearts of Lakers fans for his five seasons in purple and gold. Several months before he won the franchise’s 17th championship in the Florida pandemic bubble, he became a part of Lakers lore with his inspirational words and steady leadership in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash.

Click to play video: 'Lakers honour Kobe Bryant in first game since death'
Lakers honour Kobe Bryant in first game since death

Inside the building, dozens of celebrities gathered to witness history: Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, Bad Bunny, LL Cool J, Usher, Andy Garcia and countless others. Dozens of basketball greats also turned out, including Lakers heroes James Worthy and Bob McAdoo along with Dwyane Wade.

Rapper Bad Bunny, second from left, watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles. AP

With files from The Associated Press


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