After 39 years, the NBA has a new “Scoring King.” Tuesday (Feb. 7) night, LeBron James broke the record for most points scored in an NBA career. He broke the record with a 2-point shot in the final seconds of the third quarter during the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Crypto.com Arena.
After the game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar handed him the ball as a ceremonial passing of the torch. James entered the game with 38,352 points, needing 36 to overtake Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA scoring record. “I just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful. You guys are one of a kind,” James said, speaking of his fans during an interview. “To be able to be in the presence of such a legend and great as Kareem, it’s very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to The Captain, please.”
The record was set in stone, untouched for decades even by greats like Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Carmelo Anthony, and Moses Malone. But, the 38-year-old was able to get it done in his 20th season in the NBA. “I write ‘The Man In The Arena’ on my shoe every single night from Theodore Roosevelt,” James said in a postgame news conference. “Tonight, I actually felt like I was sitting on top of the arena when that shot went in, and the roar from the crowd. I’m not sure if I would be able to feel that feeling again, unless it’s a game-winning Finals shot.”
He continued, “Everything just stopped. It gave me an opportunity to embrace it and look around and seeing my family, the fans, my friends. It was pretty cool. I probably can count on my hands how many times I have cried in 20 years, either in happiness or in defeat. So that moment was one of them when I kind of teared up a little bit. It was ‘I can’t believe what’s going on’ tears.”