Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James owned the spotlight by setting the NBA’s all-time scoring record, although the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder left their mark on the proceedings by earning a 133-130 victory Tuesday, February 7 (Wednesday, February 8, Manila time).
James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s all-time scoring record of 38,387 points on a fallaway jumper from just beyond the free throw line with 10.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter. He finished with 38 points in the game to give him 38,390 in his 20-year career.
Abdul-Jabbar, who celebrated the feat with James at center court, owned the record for nearly 39 years, having surpassed Wilt Chamberlain on April 5, 1984.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points and dished out8 assists for the Thunder, but it all seemed like a footnote to the historic game.
Here are some reactions from NBA legends to US President Joe Biden:
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, LOS ANGELES LAKERS GREAT
“I thought it had every chance of being broken. It just had to have someone that the offense focused on continually.
“LeBron’s career is one of someone who planned to dominate this game. And it’s gone for almost 20 years now. You have to give him credit for just the way he played and for the way he’s lasted and dominated.”
US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN
“LeBron, congratulations. With your whole heart and soul you broke a hell of a record. You elevated the game. More than that, like Kareem, Bill Russell and others who came before you, you challenged and inspired the nation to be better, do better and live up to our full promise.”
MAGIC JOHNSON, LOS ANGELES LAKERS GREAT
“I never thought that Kareem’s scoring record would be broken by anybody. It means more to myself and to our fans because you’re wearing that purple and gold and broke it as a Laker.
“This historic moment is so special because we will never see another LeBron James.”
DARVIN HAM, LOS ANGELES LAKERS HEAD COACH
“It was a blessing and an honor to be able to be a part of it… I know what Kareem meant to this league. He was one of the pillars who helped build this league.
“What LeBron has done transcends even basketball, he has become a global icon. All the work he puts in on and off the floor, his businesses, him speaking out on social issues, his leadership.
“He is an example for not just young basketball players but young human beings, domestically and internationally, for how to be a professional, how to have passion, how to be persistent and productive and never to be satisfied.”
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER
“Congratulations to LeBron on breaking one of the most hallowed records in all of sports by becoming the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.
“It’s a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league. And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written.”
STEPHEN CURRY, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS GUARD
“Your sustained level of play for 20 years, reaching this pinnacle of scoring in basketball, it is unbelievable.
“Way down the road, when we’re reflecting back on our careers, we’ll be able to be at that level knowing what it was like to battle at the highest level.”
ANTHONY DAVIS, LOS ANGELES LAKERS FORWARD
“It’s definitely well deserved. He has put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this game. I’m just honored to be able to witness it live.
“He has been a big part of our team’s success and my success. A leader in all facets of the game, on and off the floor.
“A great human being, family guy – he checks all the boxes.”
KEVIN DURANT, BROOKLYN NETS FORWARD
“It’s even funny to just even say that, you know coming from where you have come from, how hard you grinded for this long. It’s been an inspiration since day one.
“Much love and keep setting the bar high.”
GREGG POPOVICH, SAN ANTONIO SPURS HEAD COACH
“LeBron, he’s a confident man. He knows he’s a hell of a player. He knows what he’s accomplished. But he still has his humility. He hasn’t lost it.”
DRAYMOND GREEN, GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS FORWARD
“Such an incredible, incredible feat. Just speaks to who you are as a person and obviously who you are as a player.
“To have an opportunity to play against you in some epic battles… it’s been an honor to witness what you’ve done.”
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