James, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers, made the milestone 38,388th point, beating the previous record set by many other great players.
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers needed just 36 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night to surpass Kareem Abdul-N.B.A. Jabbar’s career scoring mark.
In the final seconds of Tuesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he broke the record with a fadeaway 2-point shot. James jogged back towards the other basket while spreading his arms wide like he was flying. Then he raised them up and turned to face the thousands of spectators who had come to witness him make history as he peered up into the stands.
As his loved ones leapt out of their seats in joy and joined him on the court, he took a brief moment to halt, knelt down, placed his hands on his knees, and grinned. His eyes were wet with tears.
James claimed that he cried on Tuesday night because he was unable to understand what was happening.
Even greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had been unable to break the record for years. But James, who is 38 and playing in his 20th season, is still one of the NBA’s top players and scores points like crazy. He has made tens of thousands of dunks, fadeaways, free throws, 3-pointers, hook shots, and everything else since the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. James’ most recent act of defying age-related odds will buttress the argument made by his admirers that he, not Jordan, is the greatest player to ever play the game.
On April 5, 1984, Abdul-Jabbar broke the previous mark while playing for the Lakers, unseating Wilt Chamberlain, who had retired ten years earlier with 31,419 points. Over the following five years, Abdul-Jabbar scored close to 7,000 more points before calling it quits after the 1988–89 season. Jordan and Bryant finished thousands of points behind him in their respective careers.
After James shattered the N.B.A. career scoring mark, Abdul-Jabbar, shown to the right, sent him his congratulations.