LeBron James makes history in Lakers sweep, then gets quick reminder that he’s old

LeBron James is not exactly over the hill, but in the context of the NBA, he might as well be.

The 38-year-old basketball star was reminded of this after making history in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 131-99 win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. The victory also marked the end of the initial in-season tournament’s group play phase.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 26 points and 16 rebounds while James contributed 17 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds, reaching a significant milestone in the NBA. In the first quarter, he became the first player in league history to surpass 39,000 career points, solidifying his position as the league’s leading scorer after surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar last season.

James had a brief moment to celebrate this extraordinary feat.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to really wrap my head around what that means,” James told reporters, reflecting on his achievement. “There have been so many great players in this league, and many great scorers. To accomplish something that’s the first of its kind, it’s always pretty cool. It’s a wild moment, that’s for sure.”

Then, a reporter pointed out that he is older than Jazz head coach Will Hardy, who is 35.

“I’m older than who?” James said, stunned.

His reaction caught the reporter off-guard, and James eventually gave him credit: “Yeah, that’s a good one. You got me on that one. That’s crazy.”

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is getting up there. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Kid from Akron has come a long way since his NBA debut in Sacramento 20 years ago. While he wasn’t the youngest player in the league at the time, he has certainly earned the distinction of being the oldest. Udonis Haslem and Andre Iguodala had him beat last season, boasting 43 and 39 years of age, respectively.

James acknowledged his recent scoring milestone on Instagram Wednesday morning, writing: “Top 2 and I’m not 2. 1 of 1!” before sharing the video of his realization moment.

James is poised to break one of Abdul-Jabbar’s records again this year. Abdul-Jabbar averaged 23.4 points in the 1985-86 season at 39 years old, setting the record for scoring average by the oldest player in the league in a season. Meanwhile, James has never averaged below 20.9 points in a season, and he’s currently averaging 25.7 points this season after averaging 28.9 last season.


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