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Lakers' LeBron James Celebrated by NBA Twitter After Passing 38,000 Points Milestone

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 15: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers smiles during the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 15, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has scored more points than LeBron James.

James scored the 38,000th point of his career with a jump shot during Sunday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Abdul-Jabbar holds the all-time record with 38,387 points, and the King needed just 11 to become the second player in history to reach the 38,000 mark.

He got there in the first quarter, setting off a reaction on social media:

NBA @NBA

HISTORY MADE 👑<br><br>LeBron James becomes only the second player in NBA history to score 38,000 career points. <a href="https://t.co/uqLckZ9LY0">pic.twitter.com/uqLckZ9LY0</a>

ESPN @espn

3️⃣8️⃣K for The King 👑 <br><br>Next stop: Kareem's all-time scoring record 💪 <a href="https://t.co/ODCuZAysYT">pic.twitter.com/ODCuZAysYT</a>

Kyle Goon @kylegoon

With that first-quarter basket, LeBron James has now eclipsed 38,000 career points. Only he and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) have ever reached this plateau in NBA history. The home stretch is on for the all-time regular season scoring record.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

LeBron has officially passed 38k points 👑 <a href="https://t.co/VeqGAQlWg8">pic.twitter.com/VeqGAQlWg8</a>

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers

mood <br><br>⭐️ <a href="https://t.co/zX32W37h3R">https://t.co/zX32W37h3R</a> <a href="https://t.co/IhG1rOmW41">pic.twitter.com/IhG1rOmW41</a>

NBA History @NBAHistory

Only two players in NBA history have scored 38,000+ career points.<br><br>Kareem Abdul-Jabbar<br>LeBron James <a href="https://t.co/snUlEnddxu">pic.twitter.com/snUlEnddxu</a>

NBA @NBA

LeBron James is the second player in NBA history to score 38,000 career points.<br><br>Greatness. <a href="https://t.co/XgvALhcuON">pic.twitter.com/XgvALhcuON</a>

nick wright @getnickwright

The youngest in NBA history to:<br>1K- LeBron<br>2K- LeBron<br>3K- LeBron<br>4K- LeBron <br>5K- LeBron<br>6K- LeBron<br>7K- LeBron<br>8K- LeBron <br>9K- LeBron<br>10K- LeBron<br>11K- LeBron<br>12K- LeBron<br>13K- LeBron<br>14K- LeBron <br>15K- LeBron<br>16K- LeBron<br>17K- LeBron<br>18K- LeBron <br>19K- LeBron<br>20K- LeBron<br><br>(Continued)

nick wright @getnickwright

The youngest in NBA history to:<br>21K- LeBron<br>22K- LeBron<br>23K- LeBron<br>24K- LeBron <br>25K- LeBron<br>26K- LeBron<br>27K- LeBron<br>28K- LeBron <br>29K- LeBron<br>30K- LeBron<br>31K- LeBron<br>32K- LeBron<br>33K- LeBron<br>34K- LeBron <br>35K- LeBron<br>36K- LeBron<br>37K- LeBron<br><br>And now…<br><br>38K- LeBron <br><br>The 👑 &amp; the 🐐

NBA TV @NBATV

38K and counting for <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> 👑 <a href="https://t.co/QvGljBDHxZ">pic.twitter.com/QvGljBDHxZ</a>

Travonne Edwards @Travonne

38k<br>10k<br>10k<br><br>very tough <a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a>

Complex Sports @ComplexSports

The second player in NBA history to reach 38k points 👑<a href="https://twitter.com/KingJames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KingJames</a> <a href="https://t.co/AsTT6hZqgj">pic.twitter.com/AsTT6hZqgj</a>

Legion Hoops @LegionHoops

LeBron James now joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for 38,000 career points.<br><br>G.O.A.T. 🐐🤯 <a href="https://t.co/m3UsqILsAr">pic.twitter.com/m3UsqILsAr</a>

While James is 38 years old and past the absolute peak of his prime, it feels like just a matter of time before he eclipses Abdul-Jabbar's record. After all, he averaged 30.3 points per game last season and entered Sunday's game posting 29.0 points a night in 2022-23.

It is a testament to his greatness that he is still scoring at such a level even if he has lost a half-step since he was dominating the league as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

James isn't just scoring, as he entered Sunday's game averaging 8.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game as well.

He will go down as one of the best players in the history of the sport, and his longevity is quite the argument in his favor for anyone participating in the seemingly endless debate about who is the NBA's greatest of all time.

Yet his primary focus is surely on winning a fifth championship ring, and his Lakers have plenty of work to do following a 19-23 start.