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LOS ANGELES, USA – LeBron James has come a long way from idolizing Kobe Bryant to surpassing the NBA icon in the all-time scoring list.
James etched his name in record books by becoming the third leading scorer in NBA history with a 29-point outing against the Philadelphia 76ers, although his Los Angeles Lakers suffered a 91-108 loss.
With the Lakers trailing 54-72 with less than 8 minutes remaining in the third period, James split two defenders and converted a layup off an Anthony Davis assist for the historic points.
At the next timeout he received a standing ovation from the crowd of 21,109 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The basket put James at 33,644 career points, one more than Bryant, who had 33,643 points in 20 NBA seasons.
After the game, James talked about meeting Bryant as a teenager and getting a pair of shoes from his hero.
The shoes cramped his feet but he was not going to take them off.
“I wore them that night. I was a 15 and he was a size 14. I wore them anyways,” James said.
“He was immortal offensively because of his skillset,” James said. “The story is too much. Now I am here in a Lakers uniform in Philadelphia where he is from.”
“The universe just puts things in your life. When you live the right way, things happen organically. It is not supposed to make sense but it just happens.”
Bryant congratulated James, who is in his second season with the Lakers, on Twitter.
“Continuing to move the game forward @KingJames. Much respect my brother,” Bryant wrote.
James spent 11 seasons across two different stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with a four-season run in Miami in between.
He is averaging 25.3 points over 44 games this season, leading the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference with 36-10.
Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone is next for James to pass with 36,928 points. Lakers icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time NBA scoring leader with 38,387 points. – Rappler.com