LeBron James overtakes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as NBA’s all-time scoring king

NBA superstar LeBron James dug another notch in his place among the greatest basketball players of all time on Tuesday night. James became the NBA’s all-time leader in runs scored, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

James, a 38-year-old small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, hit a 14-foot jump shot with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter of his team’s eventual 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

After James landed the two-point shot, the crowd erupted with an “MVP, MVP” chant as James raised both arms in the air.

James had just scored 38,388 career points, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar’s old mark when he was also with the Lakers.

It looked like a boxer had just won a big match as photographers surrounded him and his family was quickly brought onto the field to celebrate.

Abdul-Jabbar and NBA commissioner Adam Silver also took to the floor to commemorate the moment, in the form of a video from James’ career, which included an NBA championship at the end of COVID 2019- 2020 which has been delayed.

“A record that has stood for almost 40 years,” Silver said. “A lot of people thought he would never be broken. LeBron, you are the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Congratulations.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ceremonially hands a basketball to LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, Calif., after James passed Abdul-Jabbar to become the league’s all-time leading scorer. NBA.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Abdul-Jabbar presented James with a basketball during the ceremony. They kissed, and then James grabbed the microphone to talk about the moment.

“I just want to say thank you to the Lakers faithful. You are unique. To be able to be in the presence of a legend as great as Kareem means so much to me. It’s very humbling,” James said. “Please give the captain a standing ovation, please… My beautiful wife, my daughter, my two boys, my friends… man, everyone who’s ever been in this race with me these Last 20 Years – 20 -More Years – I just want to say thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without you all.

“And to the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you so much guys for allowing me to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed of. And I would never, ever in a million years dreamed of this even better than it is tonight.”

Abdul-Jabbar is now No. 2 on the all-time scoring list, followed by Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Dirk Nowitzki (31,560), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419), Shaquille O’Neal (28,596), Carmelo Anthony (28,289) and Moses Malone (27,409).

James played in the NBA for 20 seasons, winning four NBA titles, four NBA Finals MVP awards, along with 19 All-Star appearances and 13 All-NBA First Team nods. He led his team to the NBA Finals 10 times, with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Lakers.

Newsweek contacted the Lakers for comment.


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