King James is now the king of NBA scoring.
LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer Tuesday in the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, surpassing the record held by six-time NBA MVP and Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 39 years.
Needing 36 points to break the mark entering the game, James reached the record with a fadeaway jumper from the left elbow with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter, cutting the Thunder’s lead to 104-99 and sending a supercharged crowd at Los Angeles crowd into a frenzy.
James stretched his arms in celebration, and officials paused the game for minutes to honor him on the court, where his mother, wife and children met and embraced him.
Congrats @KingJames …legendary stuff right there #38388
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) February 8, 2023
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver congratulated him, and Abdul-Jabbar–in attendance and clapping as James neared the record–handed him a game ball at center court.
“I just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful. You guys are one of a kind,” James said before asking the crowd to honor Abdul-Jabbar with a standing ovation.
“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.”
James’ record-breaking feat is even more impressive given he’s widely considered a pass-first player in the league, recently claiming the fourth spot in the NBA’s all-time assist list.
In other news, James expressed disappointment with the Lakers for not acquiring former teammate Kyrie Irving in a trade. Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
James and Irving played for the Cleveland Cavaliers between 2014 and 2017, reaching the NBA Finals in all three of the seasons and winning the championship in 2016.