Once in a lifetime feat: LeBron James breaks all time scoring record

Photo by: Charlie Martin

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, at a Los Angeles Lakers home game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James sent a shockwave around the sports world. 

With 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter, four-time NBA MVP, four-time NBA finals champion and finals MVP James broke the NBA all-time scoring record on a one-legged jumper from the left elbow of the paint.

Those two points brought him up to 38,388 NBA regular season points, breaking former Hall-of-Fame Lakers center Kareem Abdul Jabaar’s previously held 38,387 points.

“I still have no words man!! It feels like an absolute dream y’all! Is it!!?? WOW WOW WOW!! I simply can’t believe it, it’s so surreal!,” said James, in his celebratory Instagram post.

Abdul-Jabaar broke Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time regular season scoring record back on Apr. 5, 1984, the same year James was born. Now, over four decades later, he has become  the only NBA player to take the title from Abdul-Jabaar. 

Abdul-Jabaar, who is now a writer, wrote a Substack article titled What I Think About LeBron Breaking My NBA Scoring Record where he praised James’ longevity to achieve such a feat.

“It takes unbelievable drive, dedication, and talent to survive in the NBA long enough to rack up that number of points when the average NBA career lasts only 4.5 years. It’s not just about putting the ball through the hoop, it’s about staying healthy and skilled enough to climb the steep mountain in ever-thinning oxygen over many years when most other players have tapped out,” said Abdul-Jabaar in his Substack article. 

In the same piece he also expresses the gravity of a sports record being broken in general:

“Whenever a sports record is broken—including mine—it’s a time for celebration. It means someone has pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible to a whole new level. And when one person climbs higher than the last person, we all feel like we are capable of being more—that is the magic of sports. To see something seemingly impossible, reminding us that if one person can do it, then we all somehow share in that achievement,” said Abdul-Jabaar.

James currently has 38,390 NBA points and counting. He is also currently fourth in the NBA all-time assists list and ninth in the all-time steals list. 

Click here to see the NBA all-time regular season points list.

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