LeBron James is the king of the mountain – statistically speaking, argue amongst yourselves about who is the best all-time NBA player. James broke a record that most followers of the NBA thought was impossible to reach, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s total regular-season points scored mark.
Abdul-Jabbar set the record in 1984 when he passed Wilt Chamberlain. He would go on to play until 1989, and retired from the NBA having scored 38,387 points in 20 seasons.
Who could’ve ever predicted that someone could have the combination of talent and longevity to ever surpass that total? As hyped as James was in 2003 when he was drafted after graduating from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, no one would have said on PTI or Around the Horn that he would one day break Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
This record has been a long time coming
Well, James is currently in his 20th NBA season and has done the unthinkable. He broke the record. With 10 seconds left in the third quarter on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles James did it. With a step-back jumper. And it only took him 26 minutes. Kareem was sitting courtside and saw the whole thing.
He deserves every single superlative there is in the English language to describe how remarkable of an achievement this is.
To pull this off James had to combine great talent, with consistent improvement, great health, and longevity which is the rarest of rare in professional sports. He has played 20 seasons in the NBA and is currently averaging 30 points per game on 50.5 percent shooting from the field.
At 38 years old he is the leading vote-getter among current NBA all-stars, and is still being counted on to be the Lakers’ top playmaker. He has the fourth-most regular-season assists in NBA history, trailing only Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and John Stockton. James is currently averaging the second-most assists on the Lakers with 7.1 per game.
A Sports Illustrated cover story was written about him at 16 years old with the words “Chosen One” splashed next to his name. This was at a time when that cover was one of the most prominent places for a professional athlete to be featured. As a junior in high school, this was the type of hype that he was being asked to meet with his play.
Now that he is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, saying that he has far exceeded the hype is now an objective statement.
James now has his own place in the NBA world. A place where currently no one who has ever played in that league has ever been.
38,390 points and counting.