It was only a matter of time.
On Saturday (Feb. 12), LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leader in points, surpassing basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the top spot.
James needed 19 points to reach the record and he finished with 26 points. He made 9-of-27 shots throughout the game and finished with 15 rebounds and eight assists in a 115-117 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
The all-time amount consists of both regular-season and postseason points. The Lakers captain reached the mark by knocking down a 3-pointer late in the second half against the Warriors. James’ current combined point total is 44,157 points.
While he bested Abdul-Jabbar in all-time points, James still trails the Laker great by nearly 2,000 points in the regular season. James currently has scored the third most points in league history. Only Karl Malone and Abdul-Jabbar have scored more.
“It’s hard for me to speak on it now because I hate doing anything when it comes in a loss,” James told ESPN after the game. “And we had an opportunity to win a big game tonight.”
“Been appreciative of the opportunity to play this game at the highest level,” he continued. “I love the game of basketball. I love being a part of the NBA and being able to inspire so many different sets of generations. I guess, it’s a pretty big deal.”
The 4x NBA MVP is having another MVP-esque season. He’s averaging 29 points per game, with nearly eight rebounds and he’s dishing out just about seven assists a game. That’s pretty impressive for a 37-year-old, 19-year veteran. And his coach Frank Vogel knows it.
It’s incredible,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told ESPN before the game. “Everything the guy has done throughout his career is just remarkable. It’s why I believe he’s the greatest ever to play.”
“I think he’s just rewritten the rules on how players later in their career can evolve their game to stay playing at the highest level,” Vogel said of James. “So just another part of his story.
Check out highlights from LeBron’s historic night and reactions from around the league.