NBA giant LeBron James erases basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s points record, vows to carry on

NBA giant LeBron James erases basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s points record, vows to carry on


NBA superstar, LeBron James has vowed to keep playing after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading points scorer.

The Lakers forward, 38, went into the match-up with Oklahoma City needing 36 points to take the scoring record, and he finished with 38 points in a 133-130 loss.

James amassed 38 points, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar’s tally of 38,387, which had stood since 1989. Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers legend Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance and stood to applause when James broke the record.

During a brief break in play, the 75-year-old ceremoniously handed over the ball to James to mark the achievement as the new record-holder gave a speech on court.

“To be able to be in the presence of a legend and great as Kareem, it means so much to me,” said James, a four-time NBA champion.

Everybody that has ever been a part of this run with me the last 20-plus years, I want to say thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without all you. You all helped. Your passion and sacrifices helped me to get to this point.

“And to the NBA to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you very much for allowing me to be a part of something I always dreamed about. I would never in a million years dreamt this to be even better than what it is tonight.”

Commenting on his milestone, James said, “I know I can play a couple more years, the way I’m feeling, the way my body’s been reacting to me throughout this course of the season, I know I can play a couple more years. I feel like for any group of guys, for any franchise, I can go out there and still help win multiple championships or win a championship, so that’s my mindset.”

He added, “It’s so surreal because it’s something I never made a goal of mine or set out to do.”

James went into the game against OKC needing 36 points to overtake the record of 38,387 – which was set by Abdul-Jabbar in 1989. He claimed the record with 10.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter with a trademark fadeaway jumper.

The likes of Rihanna, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, as well as basketball legends, Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal paid tribute to James for achieving the feat in a series of video messages.

When O’Neal, one of the panellists on TNT, asked James directly if he was now the undisputed Greatest of All Time (GOAT). He said: “I always feel like I’m the best to ever play this game but there’s so many other great ones and I’m just happy to be a part of their journey.”

This was an historic night with Abdul-Jabbar courtside to pass the torch on with his record finally toppled.

Abdul-Jabbar, who retired in 1989, added, “I thought it had every chance of being broken. It just had to have someone that the offense focused on continually. LeBron’s career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game. You have to give him credit for just the way he played and for the way he’s lasted and dominated.”

James is in his 20th season in the NBA and enjoyed spells as Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat before joining the Lakers in 2018. The modern-day great has won four MVP titles, appeared in 10 NBA Finals and won two Olympic gold medals for the USA.

A host of star names watched on as James surpassed the NBA scoring record, including tennis legend John McEnroe, boxer Floyd Mayweather, musician Jay-Z and actor Denzel Washington.

Asked in his post-match press conference if he considers himself the best NBA player of all time, James said: ‘I’ll let everybody else decide who that is, but it’s great barbershop talk. Me personally, I’m going to take myself against anybody who’s ever played this game. But everyone’s going to decide who their favourite is.

  • A Tell / The Sun report
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