LeBron James becomes NBA’s all-time points record holder
Lebron James has become the NBA’s all-time points record holder after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 38,387, 20 seasons on from his debut.
The points came on Tuesday night for the LA Lakers against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 130-133 defeat where he put up 38.
James scored 20 points in the first half with a full showcase of the offensive talent that still shines blindingly after two decades in the NBA, and he tore through the record in a 16-point third quarter capped by a pretty jumper with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter. He pushed his career total to 38,388 points and broke the record that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar held for nearly four decades.
The game was stopped for around 10 minutes as members of James’ family, including his mother, his wife and their three children, took the floor for a ceremony recognising the moment.
The 38-year-old had been nursing a sore ankle in the run-up to the game, an injury that he manages day to day, which makes the feat all the more impressive. True to his word, James played through the pain and pulled off a historic feat at the Crypto.com Arena.
Surrounded by cameras, James addressed the crowd in the late third quarter as he surpassed the record, emotionally stating: “I thank you guys so much for allowing me to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed about. I would never in a million years dream this to be even better than what it is tonight.”
James then greeted Kareem who had been watching from courtside. The pair had verbally sparred in the past on issues not related to sport, but they seemed to put their differences aside as Kareem presented LeBron with the basketball as a sign of passing on the torch and thus extending his legacy.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, subsequently released a statement that read: “Congratulations to LeBron on breaking one of the most hallowed records in all of sport…it’s a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league.”
Head coach, Darvin Ham, echoed the sentiment, saying: “The expectations were all the way out to Pluto, and he went ahead and created his own galaxy.”