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LeBron James reacts to passing Kareem to become NBA’s scoring King

lebron james lakers

With his 19th point in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Golden State Warriors at the Chase Center on Saturday, LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time points scored leader, including the playoffs.

LeBron now has 44,157 points between the regular season and postseason.

James was reluctant to speak on an individual milestone with the loss so “fresh in (my) mind”, but he expressed his appreciation for the game of basketball and to those who congratulated him on the accomplishment.

“Any time I’ve been linked to some of the greats, I’ve always just been in awe. Been appreciative to play this game at the highest level. I love the game of basketball. I love being a part of the NBA and being able to inspire so many different sets of generations. And along that way, when you’re able to accomplish things individually, then, at some point, I guess, have an opportunity to sit back and think about it.”

“The majority of my teammates came up to me tonight when they heard the news, a couple of guys on the coaching staff as well” he added. “Got some text messages after the game from friends, family, and loved ones. So, I guess it’s a pretty big deal.”

LeBron later added that he was “humbled” to be a part of the NBA’s Top 75 team, which will be honored at next week’s All-Star weekend in Cleveland, near LeBron’s hometown of Akron. He said he is looking forward to having friends and family in attendance.

Before the game, Frank Vogel lauded James for his longevity and adapting his game. He called LeBron “the greatest ever to play.”

 

Vogel re-iterated his GOAT claim afterward.

“He hits milestones every X amount of games. … To me, he’s the greatest player ever to play, and Lakers fans are lucky to have him in a Lakers uniform. … I still believe he’s going to lead us to great things this year.”

James — who is having one of the best scoring seasons of his 19-year career, averaging over 29 points per game — actually struggled with his shot on Saturday. He was 9-of-27 from the field, and missed 10 of his 11 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter. He also missed a crucial free throw in the final seconds after being fouled on a 3-point attempt with the Lakers down by three.

LeBron finished with 26 points (plus 15 rebounds, and eight assists), to extend his career-best streak of 25+ point games to 22.

For somebody who has long claimed to be a pass-first player, his scoring record came on a night when his dishing was particularly absurd.

LeBron is now third on the all-time regular-season points list, nearly 500 away from Karl Malone and nearly 2,000 away from Abdul-Jabbar. LeBron eclipsed Michael Jordan to become the playoff points leader in 2017.