Following weeks of anticipation, LeBron James achieved yet another career milestone as he moved past Kobe Bryant for the third spot on the all-time scoring list on Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s another massive accolade on James’ illustrious resume that continues to get stronger as he’s a shoo-in to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day down the line. Following reaching this feat, it didn’t take long for Bryant to reach out and send a personal message to the current Los Angeles Lakers star.
LeBron James passes Kobe Bryant on all-time scoring list
Leading in Saturday’s game against the 76ers, James needed just 18 points to surpass Bryant on the all-time scoring list.
James needed until the third quarter to reach that feat as he scored on an assisted drive to the basket from Anthony Davis for a layup with 7:25 left in the third quarter. It was part of a strong individual performance, as he had 29 points in the contest.
The 35-year-old now only trails Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul Jabbar (38,387 points) and Karl Malone (36,928 points) on the all-time scoring list. James won’t have the opportunity to challenge Malone until likely next season at the earliest.
Shortly after James reached that historic mark, it saw Bryant send out a personal message to his former longtime colleague.
Kobe Bryant’s message to LeBron James
The four-time league MVP broke through to surpass Bryant that happened to take place in the former Lakers star’s hometown. Not long after James reached that mark, the potential 2020 class inductee took to Twitter to send a congratulatory message to the 16-time All-Star.
There is a healthy mutual respect between the two players that was established throughout their respective careers. The two were viewed as being at the top of the league for several years but never had the opportunity to face off in the NBA Finals.
The two stars share having both played for the Lakers that have added to the lore of the franchise. James has passed two of his idols in Bryant and Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list during his time with Los Angeles. Following Saturday’s game, he voiced great appreciation for even being in the same conversation as Bryant, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“And it’s not supposed to make sense, but it just happens. And I’m happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center. It’s just crazy.”
With James moving up the charts yet again, it brings forth the conversation about whether he has the chance to secure the top spot on the all-time scoring list.
Will LeBron James become the all-time leading scorer?
In his 17th year in the league, James is still playing at the top of his game, putting forth another highly productive campaign.
His continued excellence on the court has helped surpass both Jordan and Bryant with an opportunity to move up even further. James still has quite a way to pass up both Malone Abdul-Jabbar, but it’s something that is undoubtedly in the picture.
That incredible feat by Abdul-Jabbar was once seen as an untouchable mark. Still, James’ performance, despite being in the latter portion of his career, has put that scenario in the realm of possibility. The Hall of Famer has also voiced that he believes that the Lakers’ star has a chance to challenge his all-time record.
On top of that, James voiced back in December that it’s something he envisions himself doing down the line in his career, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.
“I would be lying if I said I don’t see it,” James said. “Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ … I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.”
James doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon, which places that unique opportunity in front of him before he steps away from the game.