LeBron James has set the NBA scoring record, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LOS ANGELES – The king is now the king of recording.

Since then LeBron James He graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as a teenager, and much was expected of him. He was expected to lead teams to championships, to become the best player and global icon.

Passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer was a bridge too far – even of all the accolades James has racked up during his two-decade reign in the NBA’s white spotlight. The league’s MVP fours trail Bill Russell, Michael Jordan (five each), and Abdul-Jabbar (six) for the singles league honor, and many players from different eras have more championships – with Stephen Curry Matching james four rings with Golden State WarriorsLatest address in June.

But he stands alone at the top of the scorers list. With Bucket running back running near the end of the third quarter Tuesday vs Oklahoma City ThunderJames took his place in history.

Abdul-Jabbar stepped down and made his way to 38,387 pointspassing by Wilt Chamberlain in 1984 with a hanging hook on the right wing vs Utah Jazzthen nearly made the elusive record before retiring in 1989.

James has no such move, and he does Falsely described as “not a scorer”, But he did manage, by way of devastating consistency, to claim the title – looking down to Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Jordan in the top five of all-time leading scorers.

The scoring chase became even more focused as James began what was expected to be a twilight. Though he’s only led the league in scoring average once (2008), two of his four best tackles have come in a Laker uniform – they’ve hovered around 30 points per game this season and average 30.3 in 56 games in 2021-22.

Surprisingly, he was more average as a Laker than when he was a much smaller guy. In his first stint in Cleveland, he was almost a reluctant scorer, but his big size got him to do a lot. In Miami, he was the most complete and destructive version of himself – he added efficiency and became a three-point shooter. During his second stint in Cleveland, he found himself mixing between the two roles, depending on his teammates and, at times, his mood or want to take over.

His talents have always been undeniable, and he’s rightfully honored that he’s still an impressive player at the age of 38.

LeBron James is now the NBA's all-time scoring leader, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after previously passing Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.  (illustration by Stefan Milic / Yahoo Sports)

LeBron James is now the NBA’s all-time regular season scoring leader, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after previously passing Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. (illustration by Stefan Milic / Yahoo Sports)

But his ability to see trends and adapt to them It may have been underestimated. When he entered the NBA in 2003 as an 18-year-old on Opening Night, the league was still in the grind, when teams scoring 100 points was a struggle and cause for celebration.

James negotiated his increasing physical strengths and advanced skills to compensate for a natural ability to score, and he naturally developed right as the league opened things up to make room for the likes of him and fellow (later, teammate) Dwyane Wade.

Too big, too strong, essential, too great for any player or team to handle. His greatness has endured — with the help of his team-building hand, the NBA has moved faster than at any time in its nearly 80-year existence.

The league emphasized post plays and rolls headed to the basket when James began his career, aided by middle-aged jump shooters leading the scoring charts. James was not at all as voracious as Allen Iverson (scoring champion in 2005) or Bryant, who led the league in scoring multiple times. Nor was James the clinical scorer from his point of view Kevin Durantwho won the season title by scoring three times in four years.

But he always found himself among the top five – hungry enough to dine with the best of them while also dressing as the distributor. After his rookie season through his 14th, James never finished outside the top five in scoring average.

His passing ability and desire for right plays have long been his reputation, but James has found ways to manipulate his game to still have a heavy footprint in the scoring column.

It was no coincidence that he got to this place at this point in his career, especially since scoring has exploded and teams have fallen in love with the 3-point shot. The images of James skipping shots late in the game are widely exaggerated – often, taking the last shot, first shot and the lot in between is the best possible score for the teams he has played for.

the Ray Allen shot in Game Six of the 2013 Finals It is considered one of the greatest in league history, and certainly in recent history. But the way the ball bounced back to Allen was because James missed the 3-point tying attempt from an inside pass – not as a way to criticize James but to demonstrate his willingness to play a game, seriesWin or lose on his shoulders.

Even as Chris Bosh was locating Allen dropping back to the right corner, James could be seen applauding him, aiming for another chance for history.

We’re in the Curry era in terms of influence. The scoring rate has been up across the board, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Last season , Joel EmbiidAnd Giannis AntikonmoAnd Luka DoncicAnd Tra Young And DeMar DeRozan They were top five scorers – different flavors each and definitely a different brand of scorer than when James entered the league.

LeBron James, in his 38-year-old season, has become the NBA's all-time leading scorer with no sign of stopping anytime soon.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

LeBron James, in his 38-year-old season, has become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with no sign of stopping anytime soon. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

His greatness and endurance have transcended through time. While James doesn’t quite yank himself in which direction the league is going, he’s mellow enough to ride the wave.

He gets along with all the great scorers. Jordan developed into the best mid-range shooter during the hand-check era after beginning his career as a relentless driver to the edge. Bryant refined his game during his career, perhaps because he was never an athlete of the caliber of Jordan or James.

Malone has matured into an excellent elbow shooter after getting his start as a professional trainer with John Stockton – focusing on rolling with his muscular frame.

To some extent, James tracks.

One thing that has remained consistent is that James found ways to get to the basket or put the ball in. He wouldn’t rank under anyone’s list in terms of a particular aesthetic, except perhaps as a devastatingly on edge finisher, especially during his off-season.

His place at the top of the goalscoring list will not change anyone’s opinion of him and his place in the all-time list, if one believes he is the best of all time or somewhere behind the likes of Jordan or Abdul-Jabbar, or anyone else.

The one thing that’s indisputable: James claimed a record he felt could not be surpassed.

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