LeBron James tributes pour in as Biden and NBA world hail new record holder
Los Angeles, California - Tributes to record-breaker LeBron James poured in as President Joe Biden praised the Los Angeles Lakers player for "inspiring the nation" after he became the NBA's top all-time regular season points scorer.
The four-time MVP moved past Abdul-Jabbar's 38,387 career points to go outright number one with a 14-foot fadeaway jumper late in the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Crypto.com Arena.
Even though the Lakers lost the game, it was job done on an individual level as James strengthened his case as being the greatest basketball player of all time – a debate that will rumble on for some time.
Sports stars and wider global figures rushed to praise the forward for his historic achievement.
"LeBron, congratulations. With your whole heart and soul you broke a hell of a record. You elevated the game," Biden said in a video message.
"More than that, like Kareem, Bill Russell and others who came before you, you challenged and inspired the nation to be better, do better and live up to our full promise."
NBA world hails King James
The basketball world also reacted, with fellow Lakers great Magic Johnson saying: "I never thought that Kareem's scoring record would be broken by anybody."
"It means more to myself and to our fans because you're wearing that purple and gold and broke it as a Laker."
"This historic moment is so special because we will never see another LeBron James."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver added: "It's a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league."
"And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written."
James is averaging 30.2 points per game this season, which is the seventh-best record in the division, narrowly ahead of Kevin Durant (29.7) and Steph Curry (29.4), who both added their voices to the chorus of love.
"Your sustained level of play for 20 years, reaching this pinnacle of scoring in basketball, it is unbelievable," Curry said. "Way down the road, when we're reflecting back on our careers, we'll be able to be at that level knowing what it was like to battle at the highest level."
Durant added: "It's even funny to just even say that, coming from where you have come from, how hard you grinded for this long"
"It's been an inspiration since day one. Much love and keep setting the bar high."
Cover photo: USA TODAY Sports