With just 11 seconds left in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday night, time seemed to be ticking by in slow motion.
LeBron James launched a pullup from the foul line with a left elbow hanging in the air – the same air fans in attendance refused to breathe or let out as the ball sank into the net for career point number 38,388.
“LeBron James … one shot at history … and that’s it,” TNT’s Brian Anderson said in a call that will go down in history. “LeBron stands alone. The all-time NBA scoring record is now held by LeBron James!
James needed 36 points on the night against the Thunder, taking just three quarters to get the total. It was another example of his career performance, surpassing Abdul-Jabbar’s mark by 151 fewer games and 3,714 fewer minutes.
Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers legend, was there to literally pass the torch to James, as the game was stopped for a brief ceremony.
“Just want to say thank you to the Locker faithful, you guys are one of a kind,” James said in an emotional address to the home crowd. “Being in the presence of a legend and one of the greatest like Karim is humbling. Give the captain a standing ovation.”
“Everybody that’s been a part of this race for the last 20 years, I just want to say thank you. … F–k man … thank you guys!”
Although James only added two more points on the night in a losing effort — the Lakers fell 133-130 — it looks like he’ll have a lot to overcome on his record. At 38 years old, he’s averaging 30 points per game and shows few, if any, signs of slowing down.
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