LeBron James with his historic achievement, becoming the new All-Time Scoring Leader in NBA history. Photo courtesy of the NBA.
The Kid from Akron wears his crown.
In an otherwise tough loss against a young Oklahoma City squad, 133-130, Lakers Forward LeBron James made history as he became the All-Time Scoring Leader on Wednesday afternoon, Manila time (Tuesday night, Los Angeles), at the Crypto.com Arena.
LeBron hit a fadeaway jumper at the top of the key against OKC's Kenrich Williams with 10.9 seconds left in the third to score his 38,388th career point in the regular season. The league took some time to appreciate his achievement before they once again resumed the game. In this break of action, LeBron had the opportunity to thank his fans and the City of Los Angeles for their support.
Before tonight's game, the 2023 Western All-Star Captain needed 36 points to surpass the then-record 38,387 points held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a feat that many thought would stand the test of time as Greats such as fellow Laker-great Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan only landed in 4th and 5th respectively, the end of their careers.
Many took to Twitter to congratulate Lebron including his longtime friend and former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade, Golden State superstar guard Stephen Curry, and Lakers greats Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal.
In a post-game interview with TNT, Shaq asked Lebron to weigh in on the GOAT debate after the game and the four-time champ had this to say: "I’m gonna take myself against anybody that’s ever played this game. I always feel like I’m the best to ever play this game".
James finished with 38 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the loss.
Despite this tremendous accomplishment by "The King", Lakers fans left the game with a bitter taste in their mouth as they suffered yet another heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 30-point, 8-assist game and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Los Angeles falls to 25-30 in the season as they sit at 13th in the West, 2 games behind the play-in-tournament. There have been many rumors surrounding the moves they plan to make ahead of the trade deadline. But with the Dallas Mavericks' acquisition of Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers reportedly have started to explore other options such as Toronto's Fred VanVleet and Charlotte's Terry Rozier.