LeBron James surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on Tuesday night, scoring his 38,388th point, breaking a record that had stood for nearly 40 years.
And at this defining moment in his life, James was unable to stop the foul language.
“F–k, man, thanks to you guys,” James said into the mic as he addressed the crowd at Crypto.com Arena in a speech that aired on TNT (and beat the network’s censors).
Warning: graphic language
Maybe James will have to pay a fine for the F-bomb, though it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he cares. The 38-year-old cemented himself in the NBA history books in the Lakers’ 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, living up to his nickname as the league’s scoring “King.”
The game was stopped for about 10 minutes while James hugged his family and participated in a brief ceremony with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Abdul-Jabbar. James said he almost never cries, but he did admit to tears in his eyes.
“I just want to say thank you to the Locker faithful. You guys are one of a kind,” James told the crowd. It is very humbling to be in the presence of a legend and a great like Kareem. Please give the captain a standing ovation.
James, who added two more points to push his career total to 38,390, surpassed Abdul-Jabbar’s mark since April 1984, when he watched the game from a baseline seat near the Lakers’ bench. Abdul-Jabbar then joined a visibly emotional James and Silver on the court after the historic basket.
James’ mother, wife and children also sat courtside amid a celebrity-filled crowd that erupted in cheers almost every time he touched the ball.
James didn’t let them down: After scoring 20 points in a first-half display of offensive prowess that still dazzles after two decades in the NBA, he set a new record with a 16-point third quarter. established. Beautiful jumper.
“LeBron’s career is one of those guys who planned to dominate the game,” Abdul-Jabbar said in an interview with TNT. “And that’s been going on for almost 20 years now. You just have to give him credit for the way he played and the way he held on and dominated. He has that indescribable essence that he It is called leadership.
– with AP
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