By scoring 38 points against Oklahoma City on Tuesday, the “King” surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career mark of 38,387 points. He becomes the only leading scorer in NBA history, twenty years after his debut.
It was one of those records that no one imagined being broken, one of the best kept treasures in the rich history of the NBA. Like the 100 points in one game for Wilt Chamberlain, the 38 387 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career points seemed like an unattainable horizon since “KAJ” retired in 1989. Yet if there was a single one who had the split times for thirty years, it is LeBron James. And this Tuesday, February 7, the “King” succeeded, twenty years after entering the league in 2003. With 38 points against Oklahoma City, when he missed 36, LeBron James exceeded the historic mark of another Laker to point to 38 390 points.
It was on a step back that LeBron James finally made history, lifting the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles in one man which was seething to celebrate its new hero, just over three years after the tragic passing of local idol Kobe Bryant and causing a short stoppage of the game ten seconds from the end of the 3rd quarter. The time that the relatives of the American, the journalists, the boss of the NBA Adam Silver and the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in person do not enter the floor for an improvised ceremony with a symbolic passing of the ball between the two stars of the Lakers. “Being in the presence of such a legend means a lot to me. It’s a great lesson in humility”, a tearful LeBron said of “KAJ” before thanking his family and “the Lakers faithful”, for their support.
The messages then followed one another on the giant screens until the end of this match, the final result of which no longer mattered (defeat of the Lakers 133-130). Even the President of the United States Joe Biden came to salute this achievement. So much so that this evening became the culmination of a chaotic season for the Lakers, 13th in the Western Conference and far from guaranteed qualification in the playoffs. The record hunt, already in everyone’s mind since the start of the season, had also accelerated in recent weeks after the gargantuan performances of a LeBron James on a mission.
An unprecedented longevity
Because if there was a mission, only the “King” could make it a personal matter in the NBA. To beat this record, the combination of essential criteria seems impossible to 99% of players : a very long career, without major injury, with an average close to 30 points each season. With more than 1 400 games since his draft in 2003 at age 18, 27 average points and no season below 55 matches (out of 82), LeBron James had put himself in a position to succeed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the end of his career, where Karl Malone (36 928), Kobe Bryant (33 643) and Michael Jordan (32 292) had failed.
A historic brand that adds one more line to his CV in the unofficial race for best player of all time against Michael Jordan. “His Airiness”immaculate in the NBA Finals (six wins in six finals) unlike LeBron James (four wins in ten finals), watch the records fall, beaten one after the other by “The Chosen One” (“The chosen one”), far from the teenager with the blindfold whose magazine Sports Illustrated made the headlines even before he entered the NBA. “I think he’s going to have the greatest career of all time. For me, it already is. I think Michael [Jordan] is the greatest of all time, but that doesn’t take anything away from LeBron. LeBron has the greatest career,” judge Doc Riversthe coach of the Philadelphia Sixers.
Still dominating this season (30 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.1 average passes) to 38 years, LeBron James will be able to further increase this mark, and undoubtedly exceed the bar of 40 000 points. Enough to put young people like Luka Doncic or Giannis Antetokounmpo in the rear view mirror, who may be eyeing this record which now belongs to him. He who wishes to play at the same time as one of his sons, Bronny (18 years) and Bryce (15 years), will probably push a few more years, in order to become the first player in NBA history to play with his offspring. Another record that no one would have imagined. But LeBron James is definitely a player apart.
Source: France TV Info