LeBron James Passes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar To Become NBA’s All-time Scoring Leader
LOS ANGELES -- Long after he buried a historic 14-foot fadeaway jumper that put him alone atop the NBA's all-time scoring list and celebrated by raising his arms high toward the ceiling of Crypto.com Arena, LeBron James got to relive his immortal moment through his son's eyes.
It was a fadeaway jumper -- not a skyhook ode to Abdul-Jabbar or one of his signature power dunks -- with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter of a 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder that sent James to the top of a mountain that Abdul-Jabbar stood on for more than 38 years at 38,387 career points.
James entered the game with 38,352 points, needing 36 to overtake Abdul-Jabbar. He finished the night with 38 points on 13-of-20 shooting (4-of-6 from 3) to go along with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.
As the game came to a halt to celebrate a new record that so many thought would never be reached, an emotional James broke down in tears.
"I write 'The Man In The Arena' on my shoe every single night from Theodore Roosevelt," James said afterward. "Tonight, I actually felt like I was sitting on top of the arena when that shot went in, and the roar from the crowd. I'm not sure if I would be able to feel that feeling again unless it's a game-winning Finals shot.
The game was stopped for about 10 minutes while James hugged his family, including his wife, mother, and three children, and participated in a brief ceremony with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Abdul-Jabbar, who watched the game from a baseline seat near the Lakers bench.
Abdul-Jabbar held the game ball aloft and then handed it to James, the ceremonial passing of the torch.
Abdul-Jabbar's record had stood since April 5, 1984. James, 38, was born about nine months later.