As LeBron James got closer to passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the NBA’s all-time scoring record, you could start to map out which games he might break the record in.
After he went for 27 points against the Pelicans over the weekend, it became clear it would happen in Los Angeles against either the Thunder or Bucks, only 36 points away from taking the scoring crown.
Ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Thunder, Aussie star Josh Giddey had the type of viral quote you would expect from a competitor going into a marquee game.
“We’ve got one of the best defenders in the league that I’m sure will do a good job on that,” Giddey said of Oklahoma City trying to prevent James from breaking the scoring.
The player he was likely referencing was known defensive stopper Luguentz Dort, who ended up missing his sixth-consecutive game with a hamstring injury. And even though the Thunder would come away with the win in Los Angeles, they couldn’t stop James from breaking Abdul-Jabbar’s record.
EVERY ANGLE of the bucket that made LeBron James the NBA’s all-time leading scorer 📽️#ScoringKing pic.twitter.com/BVUr9x78BH
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2023
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Giddey had the best view in the house as James rose over the top of Kenrich Williams to hit the record-breaking fadeaway. After the game, the 20-year-old wasn’t shy to admit he was happy to be a part of one of the defining moments in NBA history.
“Not many people thought this record would ever be broken. To be a part of history with one of the all-time greats is a special moment,” Giddey began.
“I was secretly hoping he would do it tonight just so I could be here and witness it, just as everyone else did,” he said candidly.
“As a player, you also are a fan, and the things [LeBron] has done for the game over the last 20-or-so years, he’s inspired and has been a mentor to kids all around the world.
“He was to me. He was my favorite player growing up. To be on the floor and share history like we did tonight was special and it’s a record that never again in our lifetime will it be broken.”
“He was my favorite player growing up.”
Josh Giddey on witnessing LeBron break the all-time scoring record.#ScoringKing pic.twitter.com/1dV6P2kPYy
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2023
As the reporter pointed out at the beginning of the question, Giddey was only one year old when James made his NBA debut.
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He has been dominating for so long that several young players in the NBA today who go up against him on a nightly basis, including the likes of Luka Doncic, claim LeBron as their favorite player.
And while it’s an incredible moment for Giddey to witness his idol break the scoring record first-hand, it has to be an even more rewarding feeling to know he went for 20 points and six assists in a win over LeBron in the record-breaking game.