With just under 11 seconds left in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday night, time seemed to go in slow motion.
LeBron James launched a pull-up from the left elbow by the foul line that hung in the air — the same air fans in attendance refused to breathe in or out as the ball sank through the net for career point number 38,388.
“LeBron James … a shot at history… AND THERE IT IS,” TNT’s Brian Anderson said in a call that will go down in history. “LEBRON STANDS ALONE. The NBA’s all-time scoring record now belongs to LeBron James!”
James came into the night needing 36 points agains the Thunder, a total it took him just three quarters to get. It was another example of the efficiency of his career, having surpassed Abdul-Jabbar’s mark in 151 fewer games and 3,714 fewer minutes.
Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers legend was on hand to literally hand the torch over James, as the game was halted for a brief ceremony.
“Just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful, you guys are one of a kind,” James said in an emotional address to the home crowd. “To be in the presence of a legend and one of the greatest such as Kareem is humbling. Give a standing ovation to the captain, please.
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“Everybody that’s ever been a part of this run for the last 20 years, I just want to say thank you. … F–k man… thank you guys!”
Though James added just two more points on the night in a losing effort — the Lakers fell 133-130 — it seems he’ll have plenty to tack on to his record. At 38 years old, he’s averaging 30 points per game and shows few, if any, signs of slowing down.