The annals of Black History Month gained a brand new entry on Tuesday night when Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James all but cemented his legendary status in the game of basketball by breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s decades-long record of points scored by an individual NBA player.
Keep reading to find the only photos that matter from this amazing and fateful night in Los Angeles.
At the ripe old age of 38, James needed 37 points to stake his latest claim to basketball greatness entering the game. It was in that context that he scored 38 to give “the king” a total of 38,388 points that he’s scored in his 20-season career that is showing no signs of slowing.
The moment everybody came to see happened toward the end of the third quarter when James posted up on the left elbow and took a few dribbles into the paint before launching — and sinking — his signature fadeaway jump shot from around the foul line area. After the ball swished through the net, James ran down the court with his arms raised, basking in the applause from an adoring audience that paid for tickets that ranged from $117 to a whopping $17, 540, according to a report by the Sporting News.
Striding into Crypto.com wearing a sleek all-black suit, it was abundantly clear that James was all about his business ahead of the contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While the Lakers ended up on the wrong side of the winner’s circle on Tuesday night, dropping a close 133-130 game to the Thunder, James still stood victorious amid a sea of fans and celebrities alike who were all on hand to see history made in real-time.
Sentiment across social media suggested that Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t very excited about having his scoring record broken by James, who has previously been the target of criticism from the former. While Abdul-Jabbar has repeatedly insisted otherwise, video footage from the game showed an apparently less-than-thrilled Lakers legend after James scored a basket Tuesday night.
Similarly, a brief video recorded when James scored the record-breaking basket showed that fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis decided against celebrating the moment with his teammates and sat on the bench alone as the game was stopped briefly to recognize the historical occasion.
At the end of the game, none of that appeared to matter as Abdul-Jabbar joined NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to congratulate James at center court. Abdul-Jabbar even ceremoniously handed over the ball to James, who reveled at the moment with his family.
Scroll down and keep reading to find the only photos that matter from LeBron James breaking the NBA’s points record.
1. Deep in thought before the gameSource:Getty
2. Introducing LeBron James!Source:Getty
3. The obligatory pre-game chalk powder tossSource:Getty
4. Celebrities galore were in attendanceSource:Getty
LeBron James chopped it up with boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. after he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. Mayweather was among many celebrities courtside watching the game.
6. Magic JohnsonSource:Getty
7. LL Cool JSource:Getty
9. Bad BunnySource:Getty
10. LeBron’s special kicksSource:Getty
James’ signature sneakers were emblazoned with notes in tribute to his family.
11. The shotSource:Getty
LeBron James shoots his record-breaking shot.
12. The celebrationSource:Getty
LeBron spread his arms to the heavens after breaking the NBA scoring record.
13. The James boys rejoiceSource:Getty
LeBron celebrates with the apparent heirs to the James basketball dynasty: his sons Bronny (left) and Bryce.
14. Number 1Source:Getty
15. An emotional momentSource:Getty
16. Mother and sonSource:Getty
LeBron celebrates with his mom, Gloria James.
17. Family firstSource:Getty
LeBron celebrates with the James clan. From left: sons Bronny James, Bryce James, daughter Zhuri James, wife Savannah James, and mother Gloria James.
18. Passing the torchSource:Getty
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ceremoniously hands LeBron James the ball after the game.