This past October, Abdul-Jabbar — on his Substack pa…

This past October, Abdul-Jabbar — on his Substack page where he discusses and offers opinion on a variety of topics, often nothing to do with sports — that when James passed Kobe Bryant for No. 3 on the all-time scoring list in 2020, he “knew it was just a matter of time before he passed me too.” Abdul-Jabbar wrote that every time a record is broken, all people are elevated. “When I broke Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring record in 1984 — the year LeBron was born — it bothered Wilt, who’d had a bit of a one-sided rivalry with me since I’d started doing so well in the NBA,” he added. “I don’t feel that way toward LeBron. Not only will I celebrate his accomplishment, I will sing his praises unequivocally.”

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Riley coached Abdul-Jabbar in Los Angeles and later lured James to Miami for a four-year run starting in 2010. He sees in James much of what he saw in Alcindor when that bus pulled into Schenectady in 1961. “It’s all about LeBron right now, and it should be, with his unique career and unique opportunity to do this,” Riley said. “Training, travel, personal chefs, personal trainers, all that stuff has come into play since Kareem. I hope people realize Kareem’s story as well and how different it was. He went to college for four years; LeBron came out of high school. But they both dominated from Day 1. They both turned potential into greatness from Day 1.”
Kirk Goldsberry: Can anyone catch LeBron James? I mapped out his incredible career:
This chart shows that no active players are even close to James in either minutes played or points scored. This record is just as much about durability as it is about scoring. In 76 seasons, only seven players -- including James -- have logged at least 50,000 minutes on an NBA court. While players like Kevin Durant, Harden, and Curry may be more gifted scorers than James, none of them have held up to the wear and tear of pro basketball nearly as well as James has.
When his career ends, James will not only likely hold the NBA record for points scored, but he will also have established a new record for minutes played too (he's 3,854 shy of Abdul-Jabbar). Any superstar trying to eclipse his scoring record, will also have to match his unprecedented ability to stay healthy and productive for more than two decades. It's hard to imagine that happening, especially in the era of load management. Among the top 29 players in minutes played in NBA history, James ranks first in points scored per 36 minutes. He has scored more than 2,000 points in a season 10 times. His lowest total in a season was 1,126 when injuries and a pandemic-shortened schedule limited him to 45 games.
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic beat Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson to the 50 triple-double milestone by a game. Doncic's 33-point, 12-rebound, 11-assist performance in Friday's 127-99 win over the visiting Denver Nuggets made him the 10th player in NBA history to record 50 career triple-doubles. Doncic accomplished the feat in his 278th career game, one fewer than it took Johnson. Only Oscar Robertson (111) needed fewer games to get 50 triple-doubles.
"He's already rewriting the record book," said Mavs coach Jason Kidd, who took 649 games to record 50 triple-doubles in his playing career. "That's pretty cool. ... Oscar is pretty special, so now to be right there behind Oscar being second fastest to 50 just shows you how special he is." It was also the 25th time that Doncic has scored at least 30 points in a triple-double. That ranks fifth in NBA history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, trailing only Robertson, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden.
Club Shay Shay: .@MagicJohnson reacts to LeBron James being on the verge of passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the All-Time Leading Scorer: “If I got to be honest, Kareem isn’t going to handle it well…And it’s a dude that’s playing for the Lakers.”
Los Angeles Lakers:Another night, another milestone. @KingJames passes Paul Pierce to enter the top 10 of the all-time 3-point list.
Shaquille O'Neal brought up the topic of James and him closing in on Abdul-Jabbar’s record on the show “IMPAULSIVE” (at the 26:42 mark) and said that James passing Abdul-Jabbar’s record actually has him jealous. “LeBron’s about to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time and I think he will put his move up there,” Shaquille O’Neal said. “To pass up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I can truthfully say I’m jealous of that feat.” Although he said that Michael Jordan is the greatest player ever in his eyes, he had plenty of praise for LeBron James and the record he is about to break.
James can continue to climb the ladder in two accumulation categories this season. He enters the campaign third all time in minutes played with 52,139, needing 2,714 more to pass Malone for second. He would have to be in the lineup for around 75 games to do that. Abdul-Jabbar tops the list with 57,446 minutes. Speaking of games played, he is 14th on the all-time list with 1,366. If he plays in 59 contests this season, he would move up to eighth, passing Clifford Robinson, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan, Jason Terry and Kevin Willis.
If he averages a more modest 24 points per game and misses 15% to 20% of the season, James would be nearing the plateau somewhere in the range of Game Nos. 65 to 68. That coincides with a homestand in early March when the Lakers host the Golden State Warriors (March 5), Memphis Grizzlies (March 7), Toronto Raptors (March 10) and New York Knicks (March 12).
Kendra Andrews: At just 19 years old, Kuminga is the youngest player to start a playoff game (since starters were first tracked in 1970-71)
StatMuse: Most career PPG in the playoffs: 33.4 — Michael Jordan 33.4 — Luka Doncic They’re the only two averaging 30+.
Jorge Sierra: Most shots without a miss in a game in NBA playoffs history 1. Chris Paul: 14 2. Nene and Larry O'Neill: 12 OUTRAGEOUS. Especially as a point guard. At 6-foot. At almost 37.
“We all go through periods like that,” coach Steve Nash said of the 23-year-old, who actually had improved his foul shooting this season, jumping from 48.4 percent to 58.1 percent. “He’s a young player playing in a big game, and he’s a developing free-throw shooter, so to speak.  “And so I felt for him, but that’s part of the growing pains, and he’s provided a lot for us the last couple months.”
That’s a high-stakes time for a debut. Especially for Ben Simmons. The last time he played, teammates reportedly suspected he faked a potential coronavirus exposure to dodge 76ers-Hawks Game 7. He hasn’t played all season due to some combination of trade demand/holdout, mental-health issues and back issues. His distinctive style – a tall point guard who’s an extremely reluctant shooter – could make it tough for him and his new teammates to mesh. Even without Simmons’ unique complications, there’s no precedent for someone debuting for a new team in the playoffs after a trade.
Jorge Sierra: Best playoff scoring debuts ever 1. Luka Doncic 42 points 2. John Williamson: 38 3. George Mikan 37 4. ANTHONY EDWARDS: 36
Nikola Jokic made history on the night his Denver Nuggets clinched a fourth consecutive playoff berth with a 122-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Jokic became the first player in NBA history with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 500 assists in a season. He had 35 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and five steals Thursday evening. "Dude is really great at basketball," teammate Bones Hyland said.
Basketball-Reference: Jokic is the first player ever to total 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 assists in a single season. For comparison: Chamberlain missed this by 8 points in 1967 O. Robertson missed this by 15 rebounds in 1961 Abdul-Jabbar missed this by 87 assists in 1975 @Denver Nuggets
Katy Winge: Nikola Jokić will NOT wear the headband again. “I looked great. I cannot let you guys see that twice.”
After having to retreat to the bench twice to stop the bleeding, Jokic donned a red headband for the remainder of the game as he helped the Nuggets (48-33) overcome a shaky start to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Grizzlies. "The MVP isn't even a competition," Nuggets coach Michael Malone declared afterward. "There's other great players. I'm not saying they're not great players. But what Nikola Jokic has done this year -- with this team, everything we've had to go through -- is just incredible. "He was good last year, and he's even better this year."
Malone said he was concerned after seeing Jokic bloodied in such a pivotal game for Denver. "My first thought was Steve Nash in that playoff series and they couldn't stop the bleeding," Malone said. "And I'm saying, 'Of all games, Nikola gets a very nonmalicious elbow, an inadvertent elbow to the head, and he's bleeding.' "I'm saying, 'Not tonight.'" Malone said he implored his trainers to do whatever they could to staunch the flow of blood. "Like, get a staple gun out here," Malone said. "And it finally stopped, and Nikola put on another MVP performance."
As he compiled numbers and climbed over names in respective Milwaukee Bucks and NBA recorded histories these last few seasons, he has allowed himself to briefly recognize the moment before moving beyond it. But – but – never too far in advance. It’s a mental tightrope he’s become comfortable on. This one, however, was different. “It’s cool,” he acknowledged a few games before he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise scoring mark Thursday night at the Barclays Center, which came on a step-back 3-pointer over Brooklyn center Andre Drummond with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter to tie the game with the Nets 110-110. “How many points 14,000-something? Ohhh! I’m a bucket! I’m a bucket! It’s fun, you know?”
“I hope they stop the game so I can get the ball,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through a smile. “Probably they won’t. It is what it is. I want it to be like, you know when Kobe passed MJ? The whole game stopped and he took the ball and he was like…” He lifted his hand high, cupping an imaginary ball, and he turned slowly to acknowledge an imaginary crowd. “I want to do the same.”
Milwaukee Bucks: The moment Giannis became the Bucks All-Time Scoring Leader!! Congratulations @Giannis_An34!!
StatMuse: Giannis has passed Kareem as the Bucks all time scorer. He is now 1st in points, 2nd in rebounds, 2nd in assists, 5th in steals and 1st in blocks in Bucks history.
Nick Friedell: Giannis, winking, when asked what it meant to become the Bucks' all-time leading scorer: "It's good because I'm changing the narrative. I don't want to be the guy only that dunks and runs. I can make a three."
Jon McGlocklin also played with Abdul-Jabbar and was the television analyst for the team through 2017. “It’s a remarkable story that I don’t think is ever – I’ve been associated with NBA 56 years – and I’ve played against and with the great ones back in the early 60s, mid 60s, the 70s, and who came along even close to this story?” McGlocklin said, his voice hitting a high pitch of incredulity. “That came out of left field and became what he’s become. Never seen it. You can’t name anybody that was that much of a surprise and grew in the NBA. Because most of the great ones came in, even back then, with big credentials out of college. But not Giannis. It’s a remarkable story.
Nets Videos: Kevin Durant says he'll give Jerry West "a little s**t" about passing him on the NBA's all-time scoring list 😂 "It's a honor. He's just a legend in the game. A legend in our sport. Almost like the godfather of our sport"
Saturday in Washington, it was a thundering dunk, a driving layup, a handful of threes and, finally, a cutting layup that pushed James up the NBA’s all-time scoring leaderboard to No. 2, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The historic basket came midway into the second quarter of the Lakers’ 127-119 loss. Stanley Johnson found James on a back-door cut into the paint for a right-handed layup for his 36,930th career point, moving him past Karl Malone for second on the NBA’s career scoring list. “Just to be part of this league the many years I’ve been a part of it and being linked to some of the greatest who’ve ever played this game and guys I’ve ever watched or studied or read about or aspired to be like … I’m just always lost for words for it,” James said.
After scoring six points in the first quarter, James came out firing in the second. He scored the Lakers' first 15 points of the quarter to pass Malone. James hit a cutting layup on a feed from Stanley Johnson at the 5:20 mark to give him 36,929 points, one better than Malone. "Just to be a part of this league for as many years as I've been a part of it and being linked to some of the greatest who've ever played this game, guys I've either watched or studied or read about or aspired to be like ... I'm just always lost for words for it," James said. "It's an honor for myself, for my hometown, for my family and my friends to be able to live these moments throughout this journey. And that's exactly who I do it for."
James finished the game with 38 points for 36,937 in his career and now trails only legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time list. Abdul-Jabbar has been the NBA's scoring king since 1984 and finished his 20-year career with 38,387 points. "I will not allow myself to think about it," James said of the possibility of passing Abdul-Jabbar. "I've always just played the game the way I've been playing it over the years, and these things have just happened organically by just going out and playing the game the right way. Hope to accomplish that at some point in my career, but I won't think about it too much."
Ryan Ward: Russell Westbrook on LeBron passing Karl Malone: "Crazy to see. ... It's a great accomplishment."
“You’re never shocked,” Caldwell-Pope, a former team of James, said postgame. “Playing with him for (three) years, just seeing what he can do, how he does it – it never ceases to amaze me. He’s been striving for greatness ever since he stepped foot in the league. Just to be a part of some of that felt great…He’s a brother first and foremost, no matter what team I am on.”
"Um, I got 23,000 points," Westbrook said. "How about that?" Meanwhile, James is closing in on passing Karl Malone for second all-time in scoring in the NBA. He is now 20 points away from passing "The Mailman." After James logged 45 minutes, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the team will discuss whether James will play on Saturday in Washington on the second of a back-to-back. If James rests, he could pass Malone in his return to Cleveland on Monday.
Matt Williams: Saddiq Bey has recorded the 8th 50-point game in the month of March. He made 10 3-pointers, matching Joe Dumars in 1994 for the most in a game in Pistons history.
Rod Beard: #Pistons Isaiah Stewart on Saddiq Bey trying to get others involved when he got going: "That's good karma, when you know you can get the shot and you're still trying to get everybody involved."
James Edwards III: Dwane Casey on making the decision to go get 50: "If we won or lost, at least we had a productive night from a young man. ... You can't pay for those types of moments." Mentioned how Terrence Ross went for 50 and came back another player. Said it's a real moment.
Alex Schiffer: Halftime: Nets lead the Magic 86-56. Kyrie Irving is putting on a clinic. He's got 41 points on 14-for-19 shooting. Next-highest Net has 10. Franchise-record for points in a half. Speaking of those, I think it's the swan song for Deron Williams' 57-point franchise record.
Nick Friedell: Kyrie's 41 points are the most the Magic have ever allowed in one half to any player in franchise history. The Nets' 86 points in the first half are the most points the Magic have ever allowed in one half in franchise history.
It was not all doom and gloom for the Lakers, with James recording his 10,000th assist in the NBA, becoming the first player in league history with 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 10,000 assists. But unfortunately for James there was little time to dwell on the achievement, instead forced to try and find a way to inspire the struggling Lakers back to life.
James set the mark by passing the ball to Carmelo Anthony for a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, notching his second assist of the game and 10,000th of his career. "I get lost for words anytime things like this are happening to me because of where I come from," he said. "I automatically start thinking to my hometown of Akron [Ohio] and my upbringing and where I come from and the dreams that I had of being in this league and playing at the highest level."
Jim Owczarski: Giannis Antetokounmpo has passed Rod Strickland for No. 94 on the all-time free throw attempts list. The #Bucks star made quite the move in that ranking tonight.
It was James’ 14th 50-point game of his career, tying Rick Barry for the sixth-most in NBA history. James has won 12 consecutive games when scoring 50-plus points. He’s the first player in NBA history to score 50-plus times multiple times after turning 35. “The thing that stands out to me is that the league has never seen a player at this stage of his career do what he’s doing,” Vogel said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that needs to be recognized. It’s just unbelievable, the level that he’s playing at.”
Harden entered Thursday 413 3-pointers behind Ray Allen for the second most in NBA history and 552 behind all-time leader Stephen Curry, who passed Allen earlier this season. "[Third] all time in NBA history, that's definitely a huge accomplishment," Harden said recently. "I think No. 1 is definitely going to be hard to catch. You've got the best shooter that ever touched a basketball in Steph. But that realm from Reggie to Ray to Kyle Korver [in fifth place], I mean, those are some unbelievable shooters that we all witnessed shoot the basketball at a high level. "So I'm blessed, I'm fortunate to be on that list, high on top of the list. And I'll do whatever it takes to try to catch Steph. [It's] going to be difficult, man."
Alex Schiffer: James Harden just passed Reggie Miller for third most 3s in NBA history. Miller is in the house rocking a special Harden jersey for the occasion.
StatMuse: LeBron James is now No. 2 in all-time minutes including playoffs. He is around 3,500 minutes away from Kareem, which he will catch next season.
Jorge Sierra: 🐐 MOST PLAYOFF SERIES LED IN SCORING 🐐 Michael Jordan: 36 LeBron James: 36 There's a caveat, though: MJ played only 37 series to LeBron's 49. Jordan was only outscored once... by Terry Cummings... by one point.
StatMuse: James Harden 2nd game as a Sixer: 29 PTS 10 REB 16 AST 5 STL He is the first player in franchise history with a 25/10/15/5s game.
Jorge Sierra: LaMarcus Aldridge is now No. 44 all-time in scoring after passing Mitch Richmond. George Gervin next.…
The Memphis Grizzlies' All-Star guard put on quite a display for the Chicago crowd and might have gotten a little extra lift after seeing highlights of Michael Jordan on the video board. Morant scored a regular-season franchise-record 46 points, and the Grizzlies hung on to beat DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls 116-110 on Saturday night. "I did watch it," Morant said. "And then, I did start scoring a lot. It probably played a part in it." Morant broke Mike Miller's previous record (45 points) set in 2007.
Storyline: Statistical Milestones
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