The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their fourth straight game with a 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, but the outcome was a sidenote to LeBron James passing Michael Jordan for fourth on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
NBA TV shared James' comments about the achievement:
James said "this ranks right up there at the top" of his accomplishments, which include four regular-season MVP awards and three championships.
"For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration ... MJ was that guy for me," he added.
James went on to say he wanted to emulate Jordan in a number of ways, from shooting fadeaways to sticking his tongue out as he dunks.
McCollum and the Blazers Snapped Postseason Losing Streak for "Jennifer"
Stars Invest in Plant-Based Food as Vegetarianism Sweeps NBA
The NBA Got Some Wild Techs This Season
Jarrett Allen Is One of the NBA’s Hottest Rim Protectors
Wade's Jersey Swaps Created Epic Moments This Season
Westbrook Makes History While Honoring Nipsey Hussle
Devin Booker Makes History with Scoring Tear
29 Years Ago, Jordan Dropped Career-High 69 Points
Bosh Is Getting His Jersey Raised to the Rafters in Miami
Steph Returns to Houston for 1st Time Since His Moon Landing Troll
Lou Williams Is Coming for a Repeat of Sixth Man of the Year
Pat Beverley Has the Clippers Stealing the LA Shine
LeBron Keeps Shredding NBA Record Books
Young's Hot Streak Is Heating Up the ROY Race with Luka
LeBron and 2 Chainz Form a Superteam to Release a New Album
Wade's #OneLastDance Dominated February
Warriors Fans Go Wild After Unforgettable Moments with Steph
Eight Years Ago, the Nuggets Traded Melo to the Knicks
Two Years Ago, the Kings Shipped Boogie to the Pelicans
ASG Will Be Competitive Again If the NBA Raises the Stakes
While his idol scored 32,292 career regular-season points, James is now 17 points ahead of him on the all-time list after tallying 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the loss against Denver.
The gravity of the moment was not lost on James, who expressed his excitement before he even took the court. He then appeared to be overcome by emotion on the bench after he passed Jordan:
The King even had a message for His Airness on his shoes:
While the debate over whether James or Jordan should be considered the greatest player of all time has becomes tedious, passing Jordan was a special moment for James nevertheless.
He went from someone who said it "was like meeting God for the first time" when he met Jordan as a teenager, per Anthony Olivieri of ESPN.com, to someone who is now alongside the six-time champion when discussing basketball royalty.
Wednesday's accomplishment was another notch on James' Hall of Fame resume. He can now turn his attention to Kobe Bryant (33,643 points), Karl Malone (36,928 points) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) atop the scoring list.
Surpassing Abdul-Jabbar may be difficult for the 34-year-old, but the same could be said about his chances of topping Jordan when he started his career.
On Wednesday, he did just that.