LeBron James becomes the most prolific scorer in NBA history

LeBron James finally eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the most prolific scorer in NBA history on Tuesday, breaking a 39-year record that many basketball players thought would never be broken.

The Los Angeles Lakers star, playing in his 20th NBA season, surpassed Abdul-Jabbar’s longtime total of 38,387 points after hitting a 21-foot shot late in the third quarter against the Oklahoma Thunder City.

James threw up his arms in relief as the Crypto.com Arena erupted in mad celebration at his new record high of 38,388.

Abdul-Jabbar, seated courtside, was among the first to congratulate James as play was paused to salute an iconic moment in NBA history.

“Being able to be in the presence of a legend and big like Kareem means so much to me,” James told the crowd before thanking his family, friends and fans.

“Everyone who has been in this race with me for the past 20 years, I just want to say thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without all of your help, all of your passion and all of your sacrifices to help me reach that point.”

James also paid tribute to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and his predecessor, the late David Stern.

“Thank you so much guys for allowing me to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed of, and I never would have dreamed of this in a million years even better than what it is tonight,” said added James before signing with an F-Bomb.

Chasing the story

After a dazzling season that saw him average 30 points per game on a struggling Lakers team, James entered Tuesday’s clash with Oklahoma City needing just 36 points to pass Abdul-Jabbar.

The 38-year-old took his time before leaping towards his magic number, missing his first two attempts before finally scoring a three-pointer midway through the first quarter to go out of the mark.

The four-time NBA champion would go on to score eight points in the first quarter, leaving him with 28 points at the start of the second quarter.

James picked up the pace in the second quarter with a quick 12 points before being substituted with 5:34 left in the half, 16 points off the halftime record.

A pair of straight three-pointers midway through the third quarter left him just eight points off the record, with 28 on the night, before a layup put him within six.

Two more layups left him two points before he duly converted his long-range effort to seal the record.

James has worked to dampen the anticipation surrounding his record run this season, insisting his priority remains helping the Lakers become a competitive team again.

However, in recent days he has been more expansive when discussing the record, saying last week that breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s mark was comparable to breaking baseball’s all-time record.

File “untouchable”

“I think it’s one of the biggest records in the sport in general,” James said.

“I think it’s up there with the home run record in baseball. It’s one of those records that you never see or think would ever be broken.

Many in the NBA agreed, believing Abdul-Jabbar’s record to be untouchable in the modern era.

“I think most of us at the time thought that record would never be broken,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said of Abdul-Jabbar’s record last weekend. .

“So to see LeBron do it for 20 years is pretty remarkable and a testament to not only his ability but also his durability.

“He’s just a machine. He’s healthy and physically strong night after night.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who coached James to two of his four NBA championships in 2012 and 2013, said he always assumed Abdul-Jabbar’s record would never be broken.

“I thought it would be untouchable,” Spoelstra told NBA.com ahead of James’ record-breaking performance on Tuesday.

Tyronn Lue, James’ former coach at the Cleveland Cavaliers, believes the goalscoring record is the crowning achievement of his illustrious career.

“It has to be No. 1, considering how long Kareem has held that record (since 1984). I know LeBron has his championships and MVPs. But being the all-time leading scorer in NBA history , considering all the great players that have come through this game? It’s a great achievement,” Lue told NBA.com.



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