LeBron James confirmed his status as a basketball legend after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. The 38 year old achieved the feat in just over 1,400 appearances, compared to Abdul-Jabbar’s 1,560 games.
James’ record-breaking shot was a step-back fadeaway jumper from the foul line, which he sunk over the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kenrich Williams with just 10.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter on Tuesday night.
The game was paused for an on-court ceremony, where James was joined by Abdul-Jabbar and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. James said…
“I just want to say, thank you to the Laker faithful. You guys are one of a kind. To be in the presence of such a legend as great as Kareem is very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to the Captain, please.”
James went on to thank his family and supporters for allowing him to achieve his dream. Abdul-Jabbar, who held the record since 1984, welcomed James’ progress. He said…
“Each time an athlete demonstrates that a person is capable of more than we thought, they inspire all of humanity to reach further than they thought possible.”
James has the fourth most assists in NBA history and is known for his leadership skills on the court. He is also a four-time MVP and has won at least one title with each of his three teams.
As for the future, James has expressed his desire to play alongside his son, Bronny, who won’t be eligible for the NBA until 2024. If his scoring rate continues, James could be well over 40,000 career points by then.
Official NBA records are based on performance in the regular season. James also holds the scoring record for combined points in regular-season and playoff games, which he broke in last season’s playoffs.
Timeline of success:
26 June 2003 – drafted No.1 by the Cleveland Cavaliers
30 October 2003 – makes debut aged 18 against the Sacramento Kings, recording 25 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals
20 February 2005 – makes All-Star Game debut, the first of 19 appearances
7 June 2007 – first NBA Finals appearance for Cleveland, who go on to lose to San Antonio Spurs
24 August 2008 – wins Olympic gold with the USA at Beijing Games
4 May 2009 – wins the first of his four regular season MVP titles
8 July 2010 – joins the Miami Heat after seven seasons with the Cavaliers
21 June 2012 – wins first NBA championship with the Heat and claims first of four Finals MVP titles
12 August 2012 – wins second Olympic gold at London Games
20 June 2013 – becomes back-to-back NBA champion with the Heat
11 July 2014 – returns to Cleveland after four seasons in Miami
19 June 2016 – leads the Cavaliers back from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors to win their first NBA Championship
9 July 2018 – signs for the Los Angeles Lakers after four years during second stint in Cleveland
11 October 2020 – claims fourth NBA title by beating the Miami Heat, also becoming the first player to win Finals MVP for three different teams
8 February 2023 – passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become NBA’s all-time leading points scorer
LeBron James hits the fadeaway jumper to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer! #ScoringKing pic.twitter.com/P5LyTZAZn3
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2023
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