Lebron James passes Kobe Bryant for third on the all-time NBA scoring list during the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday (Jan. 25).
James entered the game against the 76ers needing 18 points to break Bryant’s career total and with 7:23 minutes left in the third quarter, the NBA all-stars’ driving layup earned him 33644 points to inch ahead of Kobe’s 33643 for the number 3 spot.
Hosting team, the Sixers acknowledged the historical moment, and James received a standing ovation from fans. The 35-year-old is now ranked only behind Karl Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) on the scoring list.
James finished the game with 29 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds but it wasn’t enough to secure the win for the Lakers as they lost 108-91 to Philadelphia.
After the game, James reminisced about his first encounter with Bryant in Philadelphia during the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend. Bryant gifted James with a special red, white and blue colourway of his signature sneakers.
“It’s just too much. It’s too much. The story is too much,” James said of Bryant. “It doesn’t make sense. Just to make a long story short, now I’m here in a Lakers uniform, in Philadelphia, where he’s from. The first time I ever met him, gave me his shoes on All-Star Weekend. It’s surreal. It doesn’t make no sense, but the universe just puts things in your life. And I guess when you live in the right way, when you just give it everything to whatever you’re doing, things happen organically.”
“And it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens. And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy,” he said.
Bryant also took to Twitter to congratulate James on his special achievement.