At thirty-eight years of age, LeBron James made history last night when he become the highest-scoring NBA player of all time. The record had been held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar since 1989. James surpassed Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 points with a poised fadeback jumper shot, and Abdul-Jabbar (now seventy-five years old) was there to witness the moment for himself. On making the shot an emotional James raised both of his arms in celebration and walked down the court. Play was paused mid-game for a ceremony - with Abdul-Jabbar handing over the ball to James - and a speech by the history-maker. Speaking to the media after the game, James shared: “Tonight I actually felt like I was sitting on top of the arena when the shot went in, and the roar from the crowd; I’m not sure if I’ll be able to feel that feeling again… I can probably count on my hands how many times I’ve cried in twenty years, either in happiness or defeat, so that moment (when I teared up a little bit) was ‘I can’t believe what’s going on’-tears.” Born in Ohio in December 1984, James’s mother - Gloria ‘Glo’ James - was just sixteen when he was born. His father, a casual boyfriend, had an extensive criminal record and was not involved in his life. Gloria’s grandmother died the following year, and her mother just six months later. She was left to look after her son and two brothers. She has said: “I wouldn’t wish some of the stuff we went through on anyone. Not on my worst enemy.” Though his mother has never elaborated, James has talked about having to move house six times in one year. It is clear that domestic life was chaotic for the young LeBron James. Last night, the adult James, with an already illustrious career and an extensive list of accolades, added the cherry-on-top in front of a packed audience and star-studded crowd in the LA Lakers stadium. LeBron James: the highest-scoring NBA player of all time. —
Jas Hothi is a writing coach & author.
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