Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. This is a record he holds for the regular season. LeBron James recently passed Jabbar for first in all-time points scored for the regular season and playoffs combined.
The way the ageless James continues to play, he'll surely break Jabbar's regular-season record by late next season, or the start of the 2023-2024 season, for sure.
With all this talk about when James will break Jabbar's record, have you stopped to think what the game was that Jabbar broke the record to become the all-time scoring leader?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sets The All-Time Scoring Record
The most dominant scorer the NBA has ever seen is a man by the name of Wilt Chamberlain. So, there's no reason to be shocked to find out that in 1984, Jabbar was chasing the all-time scoring record, which was held by Chamberlain.
The two big men are arguably the best two centers to play in the NBA. One was powerful, Chamberlain, and the other played with finesse, Jabbar.
Chamberlain played 14 seasons in the NBA and scored 31,419 points. By the 1983-1984 season, Jabbar was in his 15th season, and on April 5, 1984, in a game against the Utah Jazz, he would have his chance to make history.
The Los Angeles Lakers played the Utah Jazz, but the game wasn't played in Utah or Los Angeles. The game was played in Las Vegas at the Thomas and Mack Center, which is the home of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Lakers were beating the Jazz by 17 points (110-93) and Jabbar himself had 20 in the fourth quarter. He was only one point from breaking Chamberlain's record.
Jabbar received the ball in the post with three guys on him. He fired up his trusty skyhook shot, but it missed. The fans appeared to be upset, as they were pulling for Jabbar to break the record.
The Lakers would get the ball back, and Magic waited for Jabbar to get into the post once more. The crowd roared with excitement. They knew Jabbar wouldn't miss again.
Magic tossed the ball to Jabbar, who saw three guys collapse on him once more. Jabbar faked right and turned left to fire his skyhook, once more. This time, the ball went through the hoop.
After Jabbar broke the record, teammates and the media all rushed the court, despite there still being over six minutes in the game.
NBA Commissioner David Stern even stepped out onto the court with a microphone, and said some nice things about Jabbar, while Jabbar stood next to his parents.
Jabbar thanked his religion, his parents, teammates, and the fans for helping throughout his career. After saying “thank you”, Jabbar sat down for the remainder of the game, and the Lakers easily won by a score of 129-115.
Chamberlain, who had some problems with Jabbar in the past, had nothing but respect for Jabbar taking down his scoring record.
“If someone’s going to take your record, I think you gotta feel good about who it is. He definitely deserves it. It’s no fluke of a record. It’s something that took a lot of years, a lot of time, a lot of two and three guys hanging on him, and he has done it.” - Wilt Chamberlain.
So, as we watch LeBron James continue to close in on the scoring record, let's not forget to say our “thank-yous” to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and all the other legends that have helped the NBA become what it is, today.
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