Written by on February 8, 2023

LeBron James has become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s long-standing record. James hit 38 points in a 133-130 defeat by the Oklahoma City Thunder to surpass Abdul-Jabbar’s mark of 38,387, set in 1989.

There was a brief break in play for a ceremony to mark the achievement, with James taking a microphone to make a speech on court.

He said:

To be able to be in the presence of a legend and great as Kareem, it means so much to me.

James filled with much emotions raised both arms in celebration while 75-year-old Abdul-Jabbar, who was at the match at the Lakers home court, stood and applauded.

While recognising everyone’s role in the journey, James said:

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.

Abdul-Jabbar ceremoniously handed over the ball to James to recognise his new record in front of a cheering crowd that included tennis legend John McEnroe, music stars Jay-Z, LL Cool J and Bad Bunny, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr and actor Denzel Washington.

Abdul-Jabbar, who retired in 1989 said afterwards:

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, who eventually finished the game with 38 points on the night for a career haul of 38,390, said afterwards he expected to continue playing for at least two more seasons.

I know I can play a couple more years — it’s all about my mind, if my mind is still into it, if I’m still motivated to go out and try to compete for championships, I feel like I can still do that.

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