As the NBA’s all-time leader in points, LeBron James solidified his legendary status
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With a mid-range fadeaway bucket, his 36th point of the night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scoring, breaking a 39-year-old record to add another historic achievement to his already storied career.
Few things in basketball are as thrilling as watching James drive, barrel past defenders, and then dunk the ball.
The NBA stopped the game for an on-court ceremony with Abdul-Jabbar and James embracing. Abdul-Jabbar held the basketball aloft and handed it to James, a ceremonial passing of the torch. James addressed the crowd and was emotional about what he’d just done.
“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.”
The record shows how much of a promise James made when he went from highschool to the NBA as a highly regarded 18-year-old hoops sensation in 2003 and was dubbed “The Chosen One.”
I think he is an amazing player, because only once every hundred years do you see a guy like that. I think becoming the all-time leading scorer is just going to just solidify him on the Mount Rushmore in America. Whoever those other three guys are, LeBron’s one of them.
James stated he was going to take himself against anyone who had played the game. But everyone is going to have their favorite, everyone is going to decide who their favorite is. I know what I can do on this floor, and what I can’t.
It is all about my mind. If I still feel like I can still do good for the team and compete for titles, I will go out and try to do that. I can go out there and still help win multiple championships or win a championship.”
The scoring record was “something I never made a goal of mine or set out to do – it just happened,” he said, and credited great teammates and great coaches that allowed him to be “me.”
What LeBron James did off the court: How much does he do now, how did he get there, and what does it tell us about his journey to basketball?
MagicJohnson, the Lakers legend who was at the Tuesday’s game and helped lure james to the Lakers in 2018, hailed james as “such an amazing man on and off the court.”
After Abdul-Jabbar wrested the record away from Chamberlain, it was nearly nine months before LeBron James was born. Abdul-Jabbar used his sky-hook to keep amassing points until he retired in 1989, at age 42.
“I had a moment when it happened, and I embraced that moment,” James said. “Seeing my family and friends, the people that’s been around me since I started this journey to the NBA, definitely very emotional right there.”
When the points were scored, James’ sons burst out of their seats as they filmed the record-breaking shot. James’ children, ranging in age from 8 to 22, as well as his wife and mother, were celebrating.
Phil Knight, the CEO of Nike, presented James with a commemorative plaque. James’ former teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, sent their felicitations.
“What LeBron has done off the court is more important than what he’s done on the court,” Jabbar said. The kids are sent to school. He’s provided a good example of how to live.
The game’s most celebrated mark is currently held by James, who has played in at least 20 NBA seasons. Over that span, he’s gone to the NBA Finals 10 times, with the last of his four titles coming in 2020.
What makes James’ latest feat all the more impressive is that many people, fans and pundits alike, do not believe scoring has ever been his best attribute.
This season, James has endured more losing than at most points in his career, with the Lakers mired in the lower half of the Western Conference. Anthony Davis has missed a significant amount of time due to his foot injury.
Joakim Noah, who faced James multiple times during his career, told CNN Sport that he is as special as it gets. “A great player.
We had a lot of competitive moments and it was always about trying to get past that guy. There were some good moments and some bad moments but he still does his job, he dominates the game at 38 years old, and you need to give a lot to be at the top.
He’s a pass-first guy, and he’s a great scorer, but that says a lot about his character.
The 38-year-old ranks 10th in games played, fourth in assists, ninth in steals, second in field goals made, 10th in three-pointers made and fourth in free throws made.
It is a testament to his incredible abilities as a basketball player that he still looks as fast as he did in his prime, and it is more so due to his remarkable durability than it is because of his age.
Incredibly, Jabari Smith Jr and Jabari Smith Sr are the ninth father-and-son duo that James has come up against in his career, the others being Kenyon and KJ Martin, Gary Trent Jr. and Sr, Gary Payton Sr. and Gary Payton II, Rick Brunson and Jalen Brunson, Glenn Robinson Jr. and Glen Robinson III, Adrian Griffin Sr. and Jr., Glen Rice Sr. and Jr. and Samaki Walker and Jabari Walker.
Such was the unprecedented hype around James while he was playing for St. Vincent – St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, that he signed a seven-year, $90 million contract with Nike on May 22, 2003, before he had even played an NBA game.
The basketball games in his high school were always filled to the rafters and the games were also shown on national television and pay-per-view.
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I don’t believe we should be surprised. I think we should congratulate him and celebrate him as much as possible. Continue to enjoy the shows because they are not going to be that popular in the future.
I wish we could play against eachother, but who knows what can happen down the line, but I am enjoying the show and I wish we could play against one another.
He has also been a part of numerous iconic NBA moments; the “blocked by James” commentary from Mike Breen in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals; the ‘silencer’ celebration after a winner against Golden State in 2014; and the pre-dunk celebration photo of him and Dwyane Wade in 2010.
“I definitely saw this when we were playing together,” Irving, who hit the championship-winning shot in Game 7, said. His ability to prepare himself mentally, spiritually, emotionally and game to game, day to day.
Many basketball fans will have Abdul-Jabbar as one of the four remaining NBA players on their Mount Rushmore with Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlin.
James and Abdul-Jabbar are vastly different players from the same time period, but they are both very intelligent and intellectual.
James has said before that he wants to play for one year with his son, and this year has continued to set personal and league records, which is why he has a contract with Los Angeles that runs until the end of the 2024/25 season.
He hit a career- high nine three-pointers in a game last month and will be going to the All Star game for the 11th time.
With his 46 points in that game against the Clippers, the Akron native also became the first player in NBA history to achieve the frankly ludicrous feat of scoring 40+ points against all 30 teams in the league.
His electric talent as a basketball player and his personality have made James synonymous with the sport. In the same way Roger Federer transcended tennis, Tiger Woods golf and Cristiano Ronaldo football, even non-sports fans know the name LeBron James.
“You think of all the legends and great players to play in this game and in all honesty, records are meant to be broken,” Tatum said on the TNT broadcast after the game. I will be holding it for as long as possible but I feel confident that someone will break it in a couple of years.
“Listen, the game evolves, things change,” he said. “They don’t stay. It may take a while, but can someone come and do it? Someone can come and do it. But they’re going to have to be great for 20 years and that’s the thing with LeBron and Kareem, like 20 years.
Is there people who are good enough to do it? Yes. Is it possible for them to stay healthy for 20 years? That is what will determine it.
New All-Star Game Record: Jayson Tatum, Mac McClung, Simu Liu, Jamma, Ozuna and Jayson Savage
Both teams played to raise over $1,000,000 in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah and Raise the Future for Team Giannis.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum finished the game with a game-high 55 points, setting a new All-Star Game record. Tatum was named the MVP of the game.
“I’ll be fine. After the game James said he had to take the rest of the night off for precautionary reasons and that it was not too much to worry about.
There is an All-Star Celebrity game on Friday with a bunch of entertainers, including rapper 21 Savage and actor Simu Liu, as well as NFL player DK Metcalf, singer Nicky Jam and Ozuna.
Mac McClung, after winning the NBA Slam Dunk Championship with a perfect 50 for three dunks, signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.