LeBron: I broke the NBA's scoring record 'my way'
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James took his place atop the NBA's all-time scoring list with a fadeaway jumper late in the third quarter of Tuesday's 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
James never envisioned breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's long-standing mark when he broke into the league two decades ago, but he's proud to have accomplished the feat on his own terms.
"It's been a pleasure and an honor so far in my career, within these 20 years, through the ups and the downs and the ins and the outs, through the trials and tribulations, I've always maintained me," James told reporters postgame. "And I've done it my way. I didn't want to emulate anybody. I wanted to give praise to everyone that came before me. I wanted to acknowledge that I'm a historian of the game.
"But I didn't want to emulate nobody. I wanted to be myself. And if you stay true to yourself, I think you'll always feel better about the outcome, win, lose or draw in life."
James needed 1,410 games to surpass Abdul-Jabbar's regular season career point total of 38,387. The four-time Finals MVP has averaged no less than 20.9 points in a single season and captured his lone scoring title during the 2007-08 campaign.
James' offensive arsenal has developed over 20 years in the Association. The 19-time All-Star began his career primarily as a driver, using his unique combination of size, speed, and athleticism to get to the rim in transition and the half court.
During his time with the Miami Heat, James became a more consistent jump shooter and developed a post game. As his career progressed, he adapted to the modern 3-point-happy NBA.
James' five-year stint with the purple and gold has seen him attempt more triples than ever before. Earlier this season, the former No. 1 overall pick leapfrogged Jamal Crawford for ninth on the league's all-time leaderboard for 3-point field goals.
James also ranks fourth in NBA history in assists and ninth in steals on top of the scoring record.
"If I was the GM ... of a franchise I was starting up and I had the No. 1 pick, I would take me. But that's just me, because I believe in myself." James said when asked about the G.O.A.T debate. "I know what I bring to the table. A guy that's been able to transform his game over the course of 20 years to be able to play any position in this league and excel at any position. I can play 1 through 5. I've led the league in assists. I've been able to do whatever it is this game has wanted me to do and also just transform my game as well."
James added: "So many great players have played this game, that has lasting long legacies in this game. This NBA is a beautiful thing and there's been some beautiful players that play it, but I can't take nobody over me."
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