Tiktuknu: clip summarizing today's events in sports, 7.2 (Sport1)
36 points - that's all LeBron James has left to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and become the NBA's all-time scoring king.
That historic event could happen tonight (Tuesday-Wednesday, 5:00), when the Los Angeles Lakers host Oklahoma City.
If he doesn't succeed, King James' next chance will be Thursday night (5:00), when his team will host Milwaukee and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
"It's still unimaginable to me," admitted LeBron in an interview he gave last night to ESPN.
"I never said that I wanted to lead the league in points, and certainly not that I wanted to be the king of baskets of all time. It was never a dream for me, and now to sit here, and see it happen soon... it's pretty crazy."
"He's aware of the record, of course, but it doesn't bother him," Lakers coach Darwin Hamm claimed.
"The biggest thing for him is winning games. Everyone will be on the edge of their seat tonight. It's good for the Lakers, good for the league and a crazy achievement for LeBron, he's done it when he plays the right way."
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The betting agencies in the United States estimate that this wonderful milestone will occur against the Bucks, but what are the chances that it will happen tonight?
Not bad, considering how James is playing this season.
Although he is 38 years old, LeBron has scored 36 or more points nine times this season - the last of which was four games ago, when he dropped 41 points on Boston.
LeBron is even scoring 30 points per game this season - higher than his career average (27.2), and did we mention he's 38 years old?
This is a direct rival right now for the playoff battles (or at least the playoffs) in the West, and also in a club that King James knows well - his first championship was against Oklahoma City.
He played against the Thunder 34 times throughout his career, scoring 28.1 points against them.
His favorite opponent, by the way, is Boston, against whom he scored 29.1 points in 58 meetings.
The team that has done the best job of stopping him over the years is Detroit, holding him to 24.1 points per night, in 61 appearances.
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Three times throughout his illustrious career, LeBron scored over 36 points against the Thunder - all in a Cleveland uniform.
The first was in 2009, with 44 points, the second in 2010, with 37 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists, and the third in 2018, with 37 points.
Since that game, scored 25, 23, 19, 26, 28, 25 and 33 points against the Thunder.
"It's very exciting," said teammate Austin Reaves.
"You're not going to see anything like this in the near future, someone who plays for so long and remains as productive as he was at the beginning. I hope we get a win on the night he breaks the record."
Needless to say, a ticket to tonight's game has become a highly sought after commodity in the United States.
If you want to sit right on the floor, you'll have to part with $92,000.
However, there are tickets as cheap as $115.
One of the people who will be in the stands to witness it all up close is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the current record holder.
"For me, being in the same company with Karim is a huge honor,"
The former Lakers star broke the current record on April 5, 1984, in front of 18,000 people in Las Vegas, where he scored the 31,420th point against Utah, thereby surpassing Wilt Chamberlain.
Kareem was 37 at the time, and the historic basket was, of course, his famous hook shot.
Now it remains to be seen how LeBron will break the record, as he does not really have a move that is only associated with him.
"I always wanted to be someone unpredictable, so defenses couldn't figure me out," he said.
Will it happen tonight?
LeBron in front of an Oklahoma City Dort player (Photo: GettyImages, Meg Oliphant)
The ten greatest shots in NBA history
1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar - 38,387
2. LeBron James - 38,352
3. Karl Malone - 36,928
4. Kobe Bryant - 33,643
5. Michael Jordan - 32,292
6. Dirk Nowitzki - 31,560
7. Wilt Chamberlain - 31,419
8. Shaquille O'Neal - 28,596
9. Carmelo Anthony - 28,289
10. Moses Malone - 27,409
This amazing feat is even more amazing in that when he entered the league in 2003, LeBron was generally compared to Magic Johnson - one of the all-time greats, and never seen as a supreme scorer.
He finished as the king of baskets in the regular season only once.
His record season - 31.4 points (2005/06) ranks only 38th on the all-time list, with names like Nate Archibald, Walt Bellamy, World B. Perry and others in front of him.
"I've always seen myself first and foremost as moral," said LeBron, who ranks fourth on the list of all-time assists.
For comparison, no player from the ten greatest scorers in NBA history is even ranked in the top 30 on the list of assists.
The closest is Kobe Bryant, who is ranked 33. "I always wanted to make the right move, every time," said LeBron.
"This is what I like to do - get my teammates involved, try to find them, see the whole floor and deliver the right pass."
Over the years, very few people thought anyone was capable of breaking Kareem's legendary record.
"This record always seems from another planet," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Will anyone be able to overtake LeBron?
time will tell.
According to Dominique Wilkins, "No one will ever do what LeBron did. No. It won't happen."
Los Angeles Lakers