Basketball: NBA stars and legends hail scoring king LeBron as greatest

AFP , Wednesday 8 Feb 2023

NBA legends and current stars hailed LeBron James as the league's greatest player on Wednesday after the 38-year-old Los Angeles Lakers superstar became the competition's all-time scoring leader.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James speaks to fans after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become t
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James speaks to fans after passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA s all-time leading scorer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Los Angeles. AP


James eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA points record by sinking a fadeaway jump shot late in the third quarter of a 133-130 home loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday to reach 38,388 career points, one more than iconic big man Abdul-Jabbar's total.

"It's a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

"And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written."

Retired Lakers legend Magic Johnson, a former Abdul-Jabbar teammate on LA's "Showtime" championship clubs of the 1980s, was amazed to see James topple the scoring mark.

"Wow, never in my lifetime did I think I would see two NBA athletes score over 38,000 points!" Johnson tweeted.

"I still remember when my Showtime teammate, the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, broke the record. It was an honor to be the guy to pass it to him and cement his legacy!"

Kevin Love, a former Cleveland Cavaliers and 2012 US Olympic teammate of James, used the "goat" emoji -- for Greatest Of All Time -- in heralding the feat.

"True greatness. Incredibly grateful to have witnessed and been a part of your journey," Love tweeted. "History made. 38,388 (goat)."

"It can't be contested that LeBron has been the greatest for the longest time," Love said in a social media video from James's former club.

"The fact he has been able to do what he has done for 19 years, I don't think anybody will be able to do that again."

Brooklyn's Kevin Durant, who twice beat James and the Cavs in the NBA Finals while with Golden State, said James has motivated others in his journey from a poor youth in Akron, Ohio, to a global sports icon.

"Coming from where you come from, how hard you grinded for this long, it has been an inspiration from day one," Durant said. "Much love and keep setting the bar high."

'Greatest of all time'

Other current NBA stars tweeted their congratulations and made it clear they consider James the best player the NBA has ever known.

"Congrats @KingJames ...legendary stuff right there," tweeted Golden State superstar Stephen Curry, a four-time NBA champion like James.

"One of one. Congrats bro," tweeted Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden.

"Greatest of all time," Memphis standout Ja Morant wrote on Twitter.

"This WILD!!! Unreal," tweeted Golden State's Draymond Green. "Actually doing this like THE (goat) should."

"The greatest," tweeted Boston's Jaylen Brown. "Congrats to @KingJames."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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