LeBron James has no plans to step away from the court any time soon, despite finally surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading points scorer.
The Lakers forward, 38, went into the match-up with Oklahoma City needing 36 points to take the scoring record, and he finished with 38 points in a 133-130 loss.
But it was a smile, rather than a frown, on James’ face at the buzzer on his historic night and he was asked if he still had the motivation to play on now he’s top of the pile of all-time scorers.
‘I know I can play a couple more years, the way I’m feeling, the way my body’s been reacting to me throughout this course of the season, I know I can play a couple more years,’ he told TNT.
‘I feel like for any group of guys, for any franchise, I can go out there and still help win multiple championships or win a championship, so that’s my mindset.’
LeBron James is convinced he has ‘multiple championships’ left in him after claiming the NBA’s all-time scoring record Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance in Los Angeles to watch his record being broken
He added: ‘It’s so surreal because it’s something I never made a goal of mine or set out to do.’
James went into the game against OKC needing 36 points to overtake the record of 38,387 – which was set by Abdul-Jabbar in 1989.
He claimed the record with 10.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter with a trademark fadeaway jumper.
The crowd, who had paid thousands of dollars to be at the arena for such an historic night, erupted as he pointed to the sky – and then to his family.
Following the record-breaking shot, James walked away with his hands high in the air before he was mobbed by teammates and eventually his sons, Bronny and Bryce, along with wife, Savannah.
The likes of Rihanna, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Snopp Dogg, as well as basketball legends, Stephen Curry and Shaquille O’Neal paid tribute to James for achieving the feat in a series of video messages.
And it was O’Neal, one of the panelists on TNT, that asked James directly if he was now the undisputed Greatest Of All Time (GOAT).
He laughed, initially trying to deflect for others to have their say and make up their own mind, before ‘big fella’ O’Neal pushed him for an answer.
He sealed the scoring record with a two-point fadeaway dagger at the end of the third quarter
James celebrated the achievement with sons Bronny (left) and Bryce (right) on Tuesday night
‘I’m going to take myself against anybody that’s ever played this game,’ James said.
‘I always feel like I’m the best to ever play this game but there’s so many other great ones and I’m just happy to be a part of their journey.’
This was an historic night with Abdul-Jabbar courtside to pass the torch on with his record finally toppled.
After James struck the fadeaway dagger at the end of the third quarter the game was stopped and he addressed the crowd on the floor.
‘I just want to say thank you to the Laker faithful, you guys are one of a kind,’ James said.
‘To be in the presence of such a legend and great as Kareem it means so much to me, it’s very humbling. Please give a standing ovation to the captain, please.’
James now sits alone atop the NBA’s scoring list, adding another item to his growing legend
‘To my beautiful wife, my daughter, my two boys, my friends, my boys, my family, my mother. Man, everybody that’s been a part of this run with me these last 20+ years. I just wanna say thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without y’all.
‘All y’all help, all y’all passion, all y’all sacrifice has helped me get to this point. And to the NBA, to Adam Silver, to the late, great David Stern, I thank you guys so much for allowing me to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed about.
‘I would never, ever in a million years dreamt this any better than what it is tonight. F*** man, thank you guys,’ he concluded.
James, who joined the Lakers from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018, is the highest-earning player in NBA history.
He signed a two-year extension with the Lakers worth $97.1million (£80.6m) in August.