LeBron James is the NBA’s new career scoring leader.
With a stepback jump shot with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, James pushed his career total to 38,388 points on Tuesday night and broke the record that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar held for nearly four decades.
James outstretched his arms, threw both hands in the air, then smiled. Abdul-Jabbar rose from his seat and clapped. The game was stopped as some members of James’ family, including his wife, mother and his children, took the floor for a ceremony recognizing the moment.
Abdul-Jabbar — one of many celebrities and sports stars who made sure they were there to see history — became the league’s all-time leading scorer on April 5, 1984 and wound up retiring in 1989 with 38,387 points. It was a record that some thought would last forever, with very few even coming close. Karl Malone retired 1,459 points behind Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant was 4,744 points shy, and Michael Jordan was 6,095 points away. James passed them all, then caught Abdul-Jabbar, too. He did it in his 20th season. Abdul-Jabbar also played 20 NBA seasons.