LeBron James bettered the NBA all-time record of another L-A-Lakers legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar that had stood for 39 years, in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The moment he went past the longstanding mark, the game stopped. An emotional James put his arms up in celebration while Abdul Jabbar, who was at the match at the Lakers home court, stood & applauded.
A video was rolled out, James ‘family took to the court & Abdul Jabbar, now 75, passed a symbolic ball over to the LA Lakers star. The game was still on but the show had ended. Needing 36 to surpass Abdul Jabbar. James resumed finishing on 38 points, though his team lost 130-133.
Right from the moment the 17-year-old high school junior was anointed the “chosen one” by Sports Illustrated in 2002, the 38-year-old, 6‘9” forward has hardly put a foot wrong on the court. In a modern sport that is defined by distraction, that takes some doing.
Just being mentioned as the heir to Air Jordan proved a burden for many, but James took it as a badge of honor.
The beauty of sports is that you never know what you’re going to get. James upended that by staying true to the course. He missed the all-star game as a rookie in 2004 but has been picked every year since. That streak stretches to 19 – tying him with Abdul Jabbar for the all-time record.
All those numbers wouldn’t have meant much without the titles & James had four in 10 trips to the NBA Finals with the last coming in 2020 with the Lakers. When you have such numbers, it is but right that you feature in the GOAT debate. Asked after the game whether he is the best NBA player of all time, the man dubbed the “ The King ” said, “ I‘ll let everybody else decide when that is or just talk about it, great barbershop talk.
“Me personally, I’m going to take myself against anybody who’s ever played this game. But everyone’s going to decide who their favorite is .”
“I had a moment when it happened, & I embraced that moment. Seeing my family & friends, the people that’ve been around me since I started this journey to the NBA, was definitely very emotional right there. Just a kid from a small town in Ohio, I had a moment there, but I don’t think it really hit me, what just transpired. “
LeBron James – 38, 390 Points, Game 30.2
Kareem Abdul Jabbar- 38, 387 Points, Game 24.6
N B A’s all-time leading scorers
Karl Malone -36,928, 2. Kobe Bryant -33, 643, 3. Michael Jordan 32,292.