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In front of a sold out Crypto Arena, and in front of millions of television viewers, LeBron James cemented his legacy atop the NBA on Tuesday, breaking the all-time scoring record long-held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Entering the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James needed 37 points to become the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, a record that stood for nearly 40 years that many thought was unbreakable.
Lakers home games are already usually a spectacle attracting famous celebrities, and last night’s game was no exception. The likes of Jay-Z, Nike founder Phil Knight, Denzel Washington, and previous record holder Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were all in attendance.
Court-side ticket prices were being sold for 5-figures, and even the ticket stub for the game was being sold last night for an astronomical amount.
Sitting courtside was LeBron’s family: his two sons Bronny and Bryce, daughter Zhuri, and wife and mother Savannah and Gloria.
“LeBron’s career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game,” Abdul-Jabbar said postgame after his record was broken. “You gotta give him credit just for the way he planned to last and dominate.”
The game was paused with 10 seconds left in the third quarter , something that has never happened before in an NBA game, to celebrate after LeBron hit a fadeaway shot to break the record.
“To everybody that’s ever been a part of this run with me for the last 20+ years, I just wanna say thank you so much ‘cause I wouldn’t be me without y’all,” LeBron said during the mid-game break.
Many have speculated that Kareem and LeBron did not have a good relationship, but that seemed to be put to rest at least for this monumental night. The two shared a touching moment at mid-court as Kareem handed a teary-eyed LeBron a basketball, signifying the passing of the torch as the top dog in the NBA.
LeBron said postgame that he has at least a few more years left in him so the record will continue to grow with each passing game.
And we will all continue to be witnesses to one of the greatest NBA careers in the history of the game.