LeBron James Didn't Think He Could Pass Michael Jordan 'In a Trillion Years'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 6: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Denver Nuggets on March 6 2019 at STAPLES Center 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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LeBron James took to Instagram on Thursday and once again thanked Michael Jordan for his impact a day after passing the Hall of Famer on the all-time scoring list:

"THANK YOU M.J!! Still tripping about last night. Couldn't have in a trillion years thought that would be possible especially knowing where I come from and what I watch him do every single night! Doesn't make sense to me to be honest. Man it's CRAZY!! I know you guys think I'm tripping but if you knew me and my friends growing up you'd understand. Beyond blessed and appreciative of all the congrats from family, friends, colleagues, strangers, haters, etc etc!! For the ones who been on the journey from Day 1 and I mean Day 1 I thank you even more!! Love"

James passed Jordan for fourth place on the scoring list in the second quarter of Wednesday's loss to the Denver Nuggets. He was visibly moved, draping a towel over his head as he soaked in the adoration of the Staples Center crowd.

James spoke about the moment to reporters after the game:

"It was very emotional. Very emotional. A lot of things that was going on inside of me at that point in time. I wanted to look up at the scoreboard to kind of see what was going on up there, but at the same time I didn't want to show what was going on behind that towel, so it's just crazy.

"Me and my best friends this is all we talked about was MJ. All we talked about was MJ. Outdoor courts, we used to play outdoor ball and you know in the snow in the rain in northeast Ohio and we all wanted to be MJ. We all wanted to be MJ, every last one of us. It's crazy. My high school best friends, they text me and they just can't believe it, I can't believe it, because we just remember walking up and down the Akron streets with a basketball, singing, 'I wanna be, I wanna be like Mike.'"

Jordan issued a statement Thursday, saying: "I want to congratulate LeBron on achieving another great milestone during his amazing career."

"Of all the stuff I've done in my career, this ranks right up there at the top with winning a championship. For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ, wanted to shoot fadeaways like MJ, wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like MJ, wanted to wear my sneakers like MJ. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ and it's just crazy, to be honest. It's beyond crazy."

Personal achievements by James have somewhat masked the disappointing Lakers season. Earlier this year, he moved into 10th on the all-time assists list, becoming the first player in NBA history to rank top 10 in points and assists. LeBron is currently 1,332 points behind Kobe Bryant for third place on the all-time scoring list.