LeBron James Breaks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA All-Time Scoring Record

‘It’s very humbling,’ says James, who surpassed some of the league's greatest of all time.

King James added another jewel to his crown – cementing a place in any discussion about the greatest NBA players of all time. On Tuesday night (Feb. 7),  LeBron James surpassed legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. reports that James sank a 21-foot turnaround shot in the third period against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, scoring his 38,388th point, passing a mark the Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time MVP, held for 39 years.

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“To be in the presence of such a legend and great as Kareem, it means so much to me. It’s very humbling. To everybody who’s ever been a part of this run with me the last 20 years, I just want to say thank you so much,” James said at center court in Arena after breaking the record. “To the NBA … I thank you guys so much for letting me be part of something I’ve always dreamed about. I would never, ever in a million years dreamed it’s better than what it is tonight.”

Abdul-Jabbar said, “LeBron’s career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game. He had the size and the talent to step right into the NBA, and he immediately had his effect. It’s gone on for 20 years now. He has that indefinable essence that you call leadership, that people want to get behind him.”

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Many thought of Abdul-Jabbar’s record as insurmountable. But James, who joined the NBA out of high school in the 2003-04 season, slowly chipped away at the mark. Scoring an average of at least 25 points per game over many years.

“It’s a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league. And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

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