LeBron James has done it. After 20 years, three teams, four championships and 1,410 regular-season games, King James has passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,388 career points (and counting). Abdul-Jabbar was on hand at Crypto.com Arena to watch the 38-year-old James break his almost 39-year-old record, and fittingly, the new all-time leading scorer in NBA history broke the record in the same Los Angeles Lakers uniform that Abdul-Jabbar once wore.
Now, the entire basketball world is taking the time to praise the NBA's new scoring king. Here are some of the best reactions to LeBron's historic night.
The whole world was watching
James heard from rivals like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. He heard from friends like Carmelo Anthony. He heard from Laker legends like Magic Johnson. He even heard from those outside of the basketball world like Bill Clinton, Drake and Rihanna, just to name a few. The entire sports world stopped Tuesday night to appreciate the NBA's newest all-time leading scorer.
Father and son
The entire James family was on-hand for LeBron's big night, and before he got to the record, James shared a fun moment with his eldest son, Bronny, in which they discussed the record. James made it clear that he planned to break the record here tonight, and he succeeded. It won't be long before Bronny is on the court alongside James watching his father add to his record.
Former teammates chimed in
Kyle Kuzma may not have been around for too many of LeBron's points, but he saw some of the biggest ones. Teammates from 2018 through 2021, Kuzma helped James win his fourth championship in 2020, and even though he's now a member of the Wizards, he still took a moment to celebrate the teammate that helped make him a champion.
Taking time away from Super Bowl prep
In another life, LeBron James would have been among the greatest tight ends in NFL history. In reality, Travis Kelce has laid claim to that title with his stellar run as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Those Chiefs are currently preparing to play in the Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles, but not even that could draw Kelce away from his TV screen tonight.
The GOAT debate rages on
Isaiah Thomas played two relatively unsuccessful stints alongside James, getting traded once and leaving after the expiration of his mid-season contract in the other. Still, he crowned James the greatest of all time on Twitter after breaking the scoring record. Plenty of others have done the same. There's no clear answer in the debate between James and Michael Jordan, but this record belongs to James and James alone.
An all-time photograph
thomas bryant (31 on the lakers) calling for the ball here on lebron’s record-breaking shot attempt is like the real life version of in space jam when jordan is dunking it from half court and bill murray shouts “i’m open” lol i respect him so much for this pic.twitter.com/IDWMqjhJQm— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) February 8, 2023
None of us noticed it at the time, but Shea Serrano caught it on the photograph. Thomas Bryant was calling for the ball as James made the record-breaking shot. Sorry Thomas, that just wasn't your moment. Check back with James around 30,000 points from now.
Not in the building, but almost as good
Draymond Green infamously declared that nothing could keep him from attending the record-breaking game and that he'd even attend if the Warriors had a game on the night in question. The Warriors were off Tuesday, and yet, the television cameras didn't catch Green in the stands, and there doesn't appear to be evidence that he was in attendance. Even if he wasn't in the building, he took the time to congratulate his fellow Klutch Sports client.
From one Laker legend to another
LeBron is such an amazing man on and off the court. He’s an incredible entrepreneur, does outstanding charitable work in Ohio and across the country, and he always lends his voice and platform to those who don’t have a voice; especially the Black community.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 8, 2023
Magic Johnson was, in many ways, the precursor to James. A gigantic point guard who used his charm and basketball talent to become an off-court tycoon, Johnson is arguably the greatest Laker ever, and he only added to that resume in 2018 when he recruited James to the Lakers. He may have resigned as team president in 2019, but that doesn't mean he hasn't kept a close eye on James and the Lakers as he approached history.
From the banana boat to the history books
Paul is James' closest friend in the NBA and the godfather to one of his sons. He couldn't be in attendance Tuesday as his Phoenix Suns were playing in Brooklyn, but with Dwyane Wade in attendance and Anthony appearing on TNT's congratulatory video, Paul completed the banana boat crew's celebrations on Twitter.
The MVP said it best
Nikola Jokic on LeBron James: "I think the guy didn't have a prime. He's been in his prime for 20 years."— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) February 8, 2023
There's no better way of putting what James has done into perspective than the way Nikola Jokic did on Wednesday. He's been LeBron James for 20 full NBA seasons. No breaks. No ups and downs. Just consistent excellence across two decades. That was the only way anyone was ever going to break Abdul-Jabbar's record, and that's how James did it.
LeBron James scoring record commemorative gear now available
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