Saturday, July 2, 2022
LeBron James Surpasses Michael Jordan on NBA All-Time Scoring List
By Lauren A. Jones Contributing Writer
Published March 14, 2019

James, the leader vs. Jordan, the inspiration 

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots and scores as Denver Nuggets forward Torrey Craig defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. With that basket, James moved past Michael Jordan for fourth place on the NBA career scoring list. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

On Wednesday (March 6) against the Nuggets, Lakers’ LeBron James only needed to score 13 points to pass Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list for the fourth spot. With 5:38 left in the second quarter of the game, James accomplished the monumental feat with a left-handed layup in which he was fouled and completed the three-point play.

“I thank MJ more than he would ever know,” James said.

James’s accomplishment was met with a rousing applause by the Staples Center crowd followed by a video tribute the Lakers aired during the next timeout. James covered his face with a towel overcome with emotion as he took in the moment.



“A lot of stuff that I’ve done in my career, this ranks right up at the top (with) winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, M.J. was that guy for me. You guys have no idea what MJ did for me and my friends growing up.”

For the vast majority of James’s career, he has continued to be juxtaposed to Jordan. James described the sheer thought of surpassing his childhood inspiration as a moment that exceeded his wildest dreams. The anticipation alone was enough to make James twete prior to the game, “‘Can’t even front. This is going to be UNREAL!! Wow man.’”

“First of all, I wear the number [23] because of Mike,” shared James. “I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just seeing what he was able to accomplish. When you’re growing up and you’re seeing Michael Jordan, it’s almost like a god.”

With all the comparisons between James and Jordan, who have rival numbers in nearly every statistical category except championships, James emphasized the one distinction that will always separate the two.

“It’s different. MJ wasn’t a leader for me because he wasn’t around,” James explained to the L.A. Sentinel. “My leaders was my little league coaches, my city. MJ was an inspiration. I wanted to aspire to be like Michael, but it’s hard to be a leader when he’s not around. That’s like saying my father’s a leader, he wasn’t. My mother is a leader.”

James’s legacy once he retires will heavily be predicated on his performance on the court, but  much will be said about how he has transcended sports in giving back to his hometown with the iPromise School, movie and television production and co-founding a digital media company.


The 32,292 point that James scored against the Nuggets meant that he leads Jordan in regular season and playoff points, rebounds, assists, blocks, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. Meanwhile, Jordan still maintains a 6-3 advantage in championship titles over James.

James is in elite company on the all-time scoring list with Kobe Bryant (33, 643), Karl Malone (36, 928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points) respectively rounding out the top three, all of whom wore purple and gold.


Categories: Basketball | News (Sports) | Sports
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