“I felt like I was sitting on top of the arena tonight. I can probably count on my hands how many times I’ve cried in 20 years.”
Los Angeles forward LeBron James has become the NBA all-time points record holder after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s total of 38,387 in front of crowds in a fully-packed Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday.
LeBron achieved the feat on Tuesday night as the Lakers fell 130-133 to Oklahoma City Thunder, a game the 38-year-old only needed 36 points to break the record held by Abdul-Jabbar since April 5, 1984.
Kareem dethroned Wilt Chamberlain, who retired with 31,419 points as the leading scorer in N.B.A. nearly 40 years ago, until his reign was ended by James in the final seconds of the third quarter in yesterday’s game on a fadeaway 2-point shot.
The record seemed impossible to break. Even all-time greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant failed to reach the milestone, with both more than a thousand points behind. But James achieved it in his 20th NBA season.
“I felt like I was sitting on top of the arena tonight. I can probably count on my hands how many times I’ve cried in 20 years, in happiness or defeat,” James said in his post-game news conference.