It had been coming for weeks, but it was still a special and powerful moment when Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James finally passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
James made history near the end of the third quarter when he nailed a midrange fadeaway to break Adbul-Jabbar’s long-standing record. To commemorate the feat, the game was put on pause to allow for a video tribute as well as words from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Abdul-Jabbar himself. The Laker legend stood next to James at center court where he passed him a basketball and the two closed it by sharing an embrace.
Breaking the all-time scoring record is a feat that people didn’t believe could be done, so to mark the occasion his family sent him their love and congratulations, via the Lakers’ official Twitter:
He's a father, a son, and now the #ScoringKing
Congrats, @KingJames. From the #JamesGang. pic.twitter.com/qLBY9x8aKv
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 8, 2023
Aside from his family, James also received warm words from his peers and various celebrities, via NBA on TNT:
"This is one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history."
Some of the best to ever do it congratulate @KingJames 👏 pic.twitter.com/3nNvmKVYAo
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 8, 2023
James was visibly emotional once the moment finally hit him and he made sure to thank the fans first when given a chance to speak. He also paid homage to Abdul-Jabbar and asked the crowd to give him a standing ovation, a classy gesture.
The 2022-23 season has been full of accomplishments for the King, who continues to show that he is one of the best players in the league even in Year 20. Not known as a traditional scorer, James has proven that he is perhaps the greatest all-around player in league history and no one can take away what he means to the game of basketball at large.
Although the Lakers would lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder in another must-win game, it still shouldn’t overshadow what James was able to accomplish. His case for the greatest of all time has only gotten stronger and it’ll be interesting to see how much he can add to his new record.
Jeanie Buss believes LeBron James breaking scoring record should be about him
Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record was a feat no one thought could be broken, but James’s longevity and elite level of play made it possible to surpass The Captain. Lakers governor Jeanie Buss was looking forward to seeing James break the record and emphasized that it should be solely made about the superstar and the work he put in to get there.
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