LeBron James Surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar As NBA’s All-Time Scoring Leader

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NBA now has a new all-time scoring leader.

LeBron James became the league’s highest scorer during the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s for 39-year-old record.

James reached this historic milestone with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter, when he made a picturesque stepback jumper, scoring his 36th point of the game and 38,388th of his career. After the shot went down, the 4-time MVP was showered with praise from the audience, which included stars such as Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, Usher, and many more.

The game was paused to honor him on the court, where his mother, wife and children congratulated him for this achievement. “I just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful,” James said to the Crypto.com Arena’s packed crowd. “You guys are one of a kind.”

LeBron James Surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar As NBA’s All-Time Scoring Leader

“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,” he said after paying homage to Abdul-Jabbar, who was also in attendance.

The Ohio-born superstar finished the contest with 38 points, scoring two more points in the fourth quarter in a 133-130 loss to the Thunder – placing his increasing total at 38,390. James needed fewer games than the previous record holder, and with the 38-year-old’s unwavering dedication to fitness, no one knows how long he’ll continue to play the game of basketball.

Shortly after the news of James’ record-breaking shot, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a congratulatory statement saying: “It’s a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league.”

“And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written,” Silver’s statement read.

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