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NBA stars and legends hail scoring king LeBron as greatest

Updated: 2023-02-09 10:16
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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James celebrates after scoring to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer during an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Los Angeles, California, US Feb 7, 2023. [Photo/IC]

LOS ANGELES - 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.

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."

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