LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James became the NBA’s career scoring leader on a step-back jumper late in the third quarter, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record during his 38-point performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
James surpassed the mark held since April 1984 by Abdul-Jabbar, who watched the game from a baseline seat near the Lakers’ bench. Abdul-Jabbar then joined a clearly emotional James and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on the court after the historic basket.
James’ mother, wife and children also sat courtside amid a celebrity-studded crowd that rose in waves of anticipation nearly every time he touched the ball.
James didn’t let them down: After scoring 20 points in the first half with a full showcase of the offensive talent that still shines blindingly after two decades in the NBA, he set the new record with a 16-point third quarter capped by that pretty jumper.
He long ago was anointed “The Chosen One.” He went on to become “The King.” He is now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
LeBron James scored one of the most historic baskets in league history on Tuesday, breaking the hallowed record of 38,387 career points long held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was sitting courtside.
“I didn’t set this as a goal, so that’s probably why it’s so surreal and so weird to me,” James said. “I never talked about being the all-time scorer in NBA history … until my numbers started getting closer and closer, and I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is crazy. This is weird, but I guess I’m doing it.’”
The game was stopped for about 10 minutes while James hugged his family and participated in a brief ceremony with Silver and Abdul-Jabbar. James said he almost never cries, but he acknowledged the tears in his eyes.
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