The NBA has a new scoring king. During Tuesday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James officially scored point number 38,388, meaning he surpassed the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most points scored in a career.
The moment came in the final seconds of the third quarter. With the crowd — which featured Abdul-Jabbar and a host of other celebrities — at Crypto.com Arena desperate to see the record fall, James backed down Kenrich Williams at the elbow before hitting a fadeaway jumper at the free throw line. The game stopped as a result of the bucket, which led to a ceremony to celebrate his accomplishment.
With this bucket, LeBron James moves past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer! pic.twitter.com/N6V5RxPe6r
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 8, 2023
James’ pursuit of his fellow Laker was one of the main storylines surrounding the franchise entering this season. He entered the year with 37,062 career points, putting him 1,325 behind Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time mark. Still, while it was viewed as a foregone conclusion that James would obtain the top spot on the list assuming he remained healthy, he’s managed to do this in the midst of one of his most prolific years as a scorer in his NBA career — entering Tuesday night’s slate of games, James averaged 30 points per game, which would mark the fourth time he’s hit that mark and the second time he’s done it as a member of the Lakers.
Abdul-Jabbar has spoken numerous times about how excited he is to see James supplant him atop the all-time scoring list. After years of waiting, that day has finally come.