LeBron James has become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, hitting a fade-away jump shot to break a nearly 40-year-old record.
James had spent the season closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387 points, a mark many believed was unreachable.
The King reached the 36 points he needed to take his career tally to 38,388 with a jumper late in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Abdul-Jabbar had held the record for a staggering 38 years, 10 months and two days, since he passed Wilt Chamberlain on 5 April 1984. The Lakers legend was on hand to celebrate his successor’s accomplishment, as the game paused to honour James.
“I’ve been carrying the torch as record holder for 38 years,” he said. “I’m excited and relieved to pass it along to the next worthy recipient. LeBron earned it and I hope he carries it even longer than I did.”
With his family among the crowd, James came into Tuesday night’s game a±gainst the Oklahoma City Thunder ready to make history.
The fans were ready, too. When James caught the ball, they buzzed. When he missed, they groaned. When he scored, they roared. Abdul-Jabbar, sitting courtside, smiled and clapped as he watched his record fall.
Hailing from Akron, Ohio, the 38-year-old was drafted in 2003 as the first overall pick out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, and was named the 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year.
He is one of the most decorated players in the history of the sport, having won four NBA championships, four MVP awards, four finals MVP awards, three All-Star MVP awards, two Olympic gold medals, while being named an All-Star for a record 19 times and being selected to the All-NBA team a record 18 times.
Last year, he became the first player in NBA history to accumulate more than 10,000 career points, rebounds and assists.
James is contracted through another two years and said he would like to stay in the league until his eldest son, LeBron James Jr, could enter the league