Saturday was one of those moments.
He passed Kobe Bryant for third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list with a layup in the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He needed 18 points to pass Bryant's 33,643, and he recognized how "surreal" it was that it happened in the Black Mamba's hometown of Philadelphia, among other things.
"It's surreal. It doesn't make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life."
Spectrum SportsNet @SpectrumSN
"He gave me a pair of his shoes which I ended up wearing that following night. I was a 15 and he was a 14 and I wore them anyways." @KingJames talks about his relationship with @kobebryant coming full circle after passing him on the NBA's all-time scoring list. 🤝 #Lakers https://t.co/n6p4nN5sQk
James reflected on the fact that Philadelphia is one of the first places he met Bryant and discussed how things have come full circle since Kobe "gave me a pair of his shoes which I ended up wearing that following night. I was a 15 and he was a 14 and I wore them anyways."
James' comments come as no surprise, as the two legends have shown nothing but respect to each other during this entire process.
Bryant congratulated the King on social media for passing him up:
"I don't know if people want that or want to have this kind of contentious thing where you don't want records to be broken or people there to surpass you," Bryant previously said, per Mark Medina of USA Today. "You should be happy for the person that comes after you to be able to surpass things that you've done. It's kind of juvenile to think or to behave any other way."
As for the actual game, the Lakers lost 108-91. James finished with 29 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, though he also had eight turnovers.
Anthony Davis (31 points) was his only teammate to score more than seven, and Los Angeles had no answer for Ben Simmons (28 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals) and Tobias Harris (29 points and eight rebounds) even with Joel Embiid sidelined.