LeBron James became NBA’s career scoring leader during his 38-point performance in the Los Angeles Lakers 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LeBron James scored one of the most historic baskets in league history on Tuesday, breaking the long time record of 38,387 career points long held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was sitting courtside.
There was a brief ceremony of about 10 minutes after the score and LeBron James was met at by the NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Abdul-Jabbar, who presented him with the game ball.
James thanked his fans and family; his mother, wife, and children, who anticipated him scoring and breaking the record any time he touched the ball. He also gave honor to Kareem.
“I just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful, you guys are one of a kind. To be able to be in the presence of such a legend and great as Kareem, it means so much to me. It’s very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to the captain, please.”
“Everybody that’s ever been a part of this run with me the last 20-plus years, I just want to say I thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without y’all,” he said. “All y’all help, all y’all passion, all y’all sacrifices helped me get to this point.
“To the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, I thank you guys so much for allowing me to be part of something I always dreamed about. I would never, ever in a million years dreamt this even better than what it is tonight.”
James surpassed the mark held since April 1984 by Abdul-Jabbar, who watched the game from a baseline seat near the Lakers’ bench.
However, while LeBron James made history, the Lakers ended the game with a 130-133 defeat from Oklahoma City Thunder.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points while Jalen Williams had 25 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City never trailed in the second half, holding off the Lakers’ 14-4 rally in the last two minutes.
Oklahoma City jumped to a 15-point lead in the first half and hit nearly 60% of its shots, moving 1 1/2 games ahead of the 13th-place Lakers (25-30) near the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
In 2013, James became the fourth player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points before 30 years old (joining the likes of Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Wilt Chamberlain).
Five years later, he joined Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Bryant, Jordan, Chamberlain, and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players to reach 30,000 career points.
He passed Chamberlain in 2018, Jordan in 2019, Bryant in 2020, Malone in 2022, and Abdul-Jabbar on Tuesday.