Hello everyone, but especially to…
NBA’S ALL-TIME GREATEST SCORER, LEBRON JAMES
An elbow grab, a series of pivots, three left-handed dribbles, a step back to create just enough space and… rustling.
james lebron is the new NBA all-time leading scorer. He spent Kareem Abdul Jabbar — who sat next to the court — at the end of the third quarter of the Lakers‘loss for the Thunder. That gave James 36 points for the night and 38,388 for his regular season career. You can see the bucket here.
The celebration that followed was worthy of the king.
- Abdul-Jabbar – who had held the record since 1984 – presented James with a ball to symbolize the passing of the torch.
- James’ family joined him on the pitch as a tribute video was released.
- Commissioner Adam Silver and James both addressed the star-studded crowd. Here’s how the world reacted to that moment.
There was anticipation in the air all night, and James – as has so often been the case throughout his incredible career – delivered. He had 20 points at halftime and promised his son, Bronny, that it would happen. Less than a quarter later, he delivered.
Our Brad Botkin took a look at the 25 most notable numbers on James’ path to the top. Here are two that are close to my heart:
- Botkin: “LeBron scored at least ten points in 1,139 consecutive games, by far the longest streak in history (Michael Jordan is second at 866)… LeBron is the youngest player in history to reach all 1,000-milestone point (1K, 2K, 3K….38K)”
Botkin, in a separate article, explained why he thinks James is now officially the greatest player the sport has ever seen. The king’s longevity – as our Doug Clawson explored here — is unmatched even by Abdul-Jabbar. Damn we have to discover other sports for a relevant comparison.
Here is the new all-time score leaderboard:
- 1. LeBron James: 38,390
- 2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 38,387
- 3. Karl Malone: 36,928
- 4. Kevin Durant: 33,643
- 5. Michael Jordan: 32,292
To put things into perspective, the next top scorer currently on any list is Kevin Durant To… 26,684 — nearly 12,000 behind James. What’s even more remarkable is that James isn’t done yet, and maybe he put on the blindfold (a symbol of his early years) to remind us of that. James is up to it 30.2 points per game this seasonon track to be the third best of his career.
It was a truly unforgettable moment in a career that has been full of them. I always try to emphasize that James should not be taken for granted. Of course, we pretty much knew he was going to overtake Abdul-Jabbar for months, if not years. But to see it happen in front of the former record holder and to see what it meant to James himself was very special.
Hoping for a few more historic moments. As the nearly 39-year wait for a new scorer has proven, they don’t come that often.
Not so honorable mentions
Super Bowl preview: Ranking starters, key under-the-radar moves for both teams 🏈
Don’t think for a moment that we forgot the Super Bowl. Yes, the weekend between championship games and the Super Bowl creates a bit of a lull, but our NFL team has written a ton, and there’s plenty more to come.
One of my favorites so far has been our Pete Prisco ranking of each runner, from 1 to 44. Here are the first six:
- 1. Chief QB Patrick Mahomes
- 2. TE Chiefs Travis Kelce
- 3. Chiefs DT Chris Jones
- 4. Eagles C Jason Kelce
- 5. Eagles OT Lane Johnson
- 6. Eagles QB Jalen hurts
Although much has been said about the Mahomes-Hurts battle, these two won’t actually face off on the court. You know who will, time and time again? Chris Jones and Jason Kelce — the No. 3 and No. 4 players, respectively.
The Chiefs have Pete’s top three starters, but the teams split the top 10, and the Eagles actually had 10 of the top 15.
Of course, the teams are much more than their 22 holders, and the Eagles’ top-to-bottom roster is proof of that. Their discrete acquisitions are proof, writes our Jeff Kerr.
- Kerr: “November 17: Signed Ndamukong Suh — Individual stats don’t describe Suh’s impact on defense, as Philadelphia has allowed just 114.4 rushing yards per game in the 10 games Suh has been on the roster (including the playoffs). … Prior to Suh’s arrival, the Eagles gave up 124.8 rushing yards per game and had just 29 sacks. … November 16: Signed Linval Joseph.”
When you have those two defensive linemen — who have combined for seven Pro Bowls and two Super Bowls — playing as backups, you know you’re really good. But the leaders did lots of savvy moves toonotes Jared Dubin.
NBA Trade Deadline: Is Dame Time in Portland? 🏀
From Damien Lillard, 32 years old, entered the NBA in 2012, only James Harden And james lebron scored more points. Only Stephen Curry and Harden made more than 3 points.
These are very positive facts about Lillard. Here are a few that are harder to swallow:
- The Trail Blazers haven’t won a playoff since 2018-19.
- After a surprising 9-3 start to the season, Portland has gone 17-25 since and wouldn’t even make it into the qualifying tournament.
- Since Lillard’s arrival, the Trail Blazers have tried three different full-time head coaches and at least as many roster builds: the inside-out duo of The Marcus Aldridge and Lillard, the rear duo of Lillard and CJ McCollum and, now, Lillard with his background mate Anfernee Simons and larger wings such as Jerami Grant, Josh Hart And Shaedon Sharpe.
Lillard’s loyalty to Portland is admirable, as is Portland’s loyalty to Lillard. there is no doubt. But it’s worth asking whether it’s time for them to consider going their separate ways. Here’s what our Sam Quinn has to say:
- Quinn: “Behind door No. 1, we have the definition of insanity. The Blazers can keep trying to put a winner around Lillard.
…Behind door #2, we have the unpopular stranger. … Move Lillard now and the Blazers could still get some spoils for him to partner with these youngsters. … That would be ignoring the very publicly expressed wishes of a franchise icon. No executive wants to be remembered as the man who traded the best player in franchise history. But NBA history favors teams that proactively move stars.”
The more I think about it, the more I like Sam’s perspective. The Lillard era delivered some incredible highs, often thanks to Lillard. But they don’t seem particularly close to facing him at the moment.
As the trade deadline is 24 hours away, Lillard isn’t the only name to watch. Here’s more:
Aaron Rodgers will consider his future during a “retirement in darkness” 🏈
Aaron Rodgers will soon make a decision about his future, but not before — get this — a four-day “dark retreat.” Yeah, you read that correctly.
Let me explain:
- Rodgers will spend four days and four nights in a house in complete darkness sometime after the Super Bowl, he said during his final appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show.” There is also a food slot and a bathroom. Well, yeah. That’s it.
- Rogers says this will help him make a “final, definitive decision” on whether he wants to continue playing in the NFL.
- He added that “sensory deprivation isolation” will simulate the drug DMT with the potential for hallucinations.
To each his own, I suppose. At least we now have some kind of timeline. We think.
What we’re watching on Wednesday 📺
🏀 No 23 Creighton at Seton Hall6:30 p.m. on FS1
🏀 No. 11 Iowa State in West Virginia7 p.m. on ESPN2
🏀 76ers at the Celtics7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Mavericks at Clippers10 p.m. on ESPN