In the midst of another rough loss to the Nuggets Wednesday night, LeBron James reached another milestone in his historic NBA career. Last night, after knocking down a free-throw in a three-point play, James passed Michael Jordan for fourth on the All-Time scoring list.
— Jim Ice (@Jim_ICE) March 7, 2019
The extraordinary moment was surreal for James, who commented on what it meant to him to reporters after the game.
“Of all the stuff I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up there at the top with winning a championship,” James said, per ESPN. “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.”
Jordan was a guy he had looked up to his whole life… a guy he wanted to be like when he was still just a kid in Akron.
“It was very emotional,” he said. “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.'”
“You guys have no idea what MJ did for me and my friends growing up. … I thank MJ more than he would ever know.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 7, 2019
No doubt, LeBron has built quite a resume for himself. 15x All-Star, 4x MVP, 3x NBA Champion, and Finals MVP, 14x All-NBA… the list goes on and on. This latest feat is probably one the more impressive ones, and he’s still got plenty of time left to go.
And as the Lakers find themselves slipping from playoff contention, it must be nice to celebrate something positive, if even for a moment of their nightmarish season.