In a historic feat that cements his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players ever, LeBron James has become the first player in NBA history to surpass the 39,000 career point mark. This remarkable achievement was realized during Tuesday night's game, where the Los Angeles Lakers claimed a resounding 131-99 victory over the Utah Jazz.
James, already revered as the NBA's all-time scoring leader, reached this monumental milestone with a three-pointer in the first quarter, contributing significantly to the Lakers' flawless performance in the NBA In-Season Tournament's Group Play.
Despite playing for just 24 minutes, he scored an impressive 17 points.
James Reflects on Milestone
Reflecting on his achievement, James shared his feelings, "I got congratulated by my teammates and coaches, (but) I haven't had an opportunity to really wrap my head around what that means.
There's been so many great players that came across this league since the beginning of time, and so many great scorers. To be able to accomplish something that's the first of anything, I think that's always pretty cool. It's a wild moment, that's for sure." In his 21st season, James continues to exhibit unparalleled skill and athleticism, maintaining an extraordinary average of 26.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game.
According to NBA.com, if he maintains his current pace and remains healthy, James will reach the 40,000 point milestone later this season.
Next in Line: Durant
Historically, only seven players in the NBA have scored over 30,000 points: LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, and Wilt Chamberlain.
Notably, five of these legends, including James, Abdul-Jabbar, Malone, Bryant, and Chamberlain, have played for the Lakers during their careers. Looking to the future, the next active player poised to join the elite 30,000-point club is Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant.
After recently surpassing Elvin Hayes for the 11th spot on the all-time scoring list, Durant now stands at 27,331 career points. He requires 2,669 more to reach the 30,000-point landmark. James Harden and Russell Westbrook of the LA Clippers follow Durant as the next active players in line for this prestigious milestone.
Harden has accrued 24,805 points in his career, while Westbrook is close behind with 24,615 points. This era of basketball continues to be marked by remarkable talent and unprecedented achievements, with LeBron James leading the way into uncharted territories.