LeBron James reacts to historic 40,000 career points

LeBron James reacts to historic 40,000 career points

Records are meant to be broken, and many have been shattered in the NBA, but for a long time, none will come close to what 39-year-old LeBron James achieved on Saturday night in front of a packed crowd inside the Arena in Los Angeles.

The four-time MVP became the first ever player in NBA history to reach 40,000 career points with a driving layup past Denver Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. early in the second quarter.

Although the Lakers eventually lost the game 114-124, James led his team with 26 points to take his career total to 40,017 points in 1,475 regular-season games, and no one can take away the pride of being the first person to achieve such a milestone in the NBA’s 78-year history from him.

“Being the first player to do something, it’s pretty cool in this league,” James said. “Just knowing the history, the greats that’s come through the league, and then you see some of the greats on the floor tonight, it was great to compete.

“But for me, the main thing, as always, is to win, and I hated that it had to happen in a defeat.”

The former No. 1 draft pick entered the league with arguably the biggest pressure ever put on any youngster in any professional sport.

However, now in Year 21 and with a variety of records to his name, James has eclipsed the expectations placed on an 18-year-old teenager, who came into the NBA in 2003.

“For the first time in a long time, I’ve seen the commercial that was played before my first game,” the former Cleveland Cavaliers star said. “I think they mentioned all the greats to ever play the game of basketball, like Big O and Michael and Kareem and Kobe, and forgot who all else was in that commercial. And then it was like, ‘the next one, LeBron James.’

“I didn’t see that commercial when it happened, but when I was watching it today, I was like what the hell? That expectation on an 18-year-old kid like that, that was insane to think about.”

James set the pace for this milestone back in February 2023, when he broke the 39-year record of Hall of Famer and Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387 points across his 20-year NBA career.

Many thought it was impossible to achieve such numbers, as Kareem, standing at 7 feet 2, was a dominant force inside the paint during his playing days, and it was regarded as a herculean task for anyone to reach his numbers, more or less surpassing them by over a thousand points and counting.

“There’s just certain things that you just don’t think that’s going to happen,” James continued. “I guess for years people said Kareem’s record wouldn’t be broken. I was able to eclipse it. But like I said, you have to have some really good luck, you have to play the game at a high level for a long time, and then we see.”

Playing in his 21st year with the sort of numbers he is currently putting up is otherworldly on its own as he currently averages 25.3 points per game. He is also averaging 7.0 rebounds and 7.9 assists, whilst shooting 52.7% from the field and 40.8% on 3s, which is his career-best from beyond the arc.

“I come to work and prepare and prep, mentally, physically, spiritually every single night when it’s time to play, and I just try to go out and contribute,” he added. “Been able to do it for 20-plus years, including this year. When I come on the floor and feel pretty good, I feel I can make plays.

“Still able to do the things that I was doing 10 years ago. And some things I was doing 20 years ago, which is weird to say.”

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