James, a native of Akron, Ohio, who was selected out of high school with the NBA’s first pick in 2003 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, has walked to the scoring record during his two-decade career averaging 27 points. per match.

James, a four-time league MVP who has won four NBA titles with three teams (in 2012 and 2013 with the Miami Heat, in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2020 with the Lakers), said Thursday after a narrow win against the Indiana Pacers that scoring record is one to covet.

«I think it’s one of the best records in sports, overall,» he said. “It’s like the home run record in baseball. It’s one of those records you never see or think will be broken. You see guys like Hank Aaron, who had it for so long. You see guys like Sammy [Sosa] and Mark McGwire, and you start to scale it, and it’s like, ‘Oh, this could really happen. It’s kind of fun as an athlete. It was fun to see those guys chasing him.»

Even as a grizzled veteran, James hasn’t slowed down this season. As the Lakers battle to secure a playoff spot, James has averaged around 30 points per game, competing among the league’s top scorers, twenty-something superstars like Joel Embiid, Luka Dončić and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

James has had multiple 40-point games this season. His 46 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on January 24 set another NBA record, establishing him as the only player in history to score 40 or more points against every NBA franchise.

While James’ on-court praise has earned him the nickname «King James,» he’s been praised and criticized for off-court social commentary on topics like police brutality, voter oppression and the star’s arrest. of the WNBA Brittney Griner in Russia.

James responded in 2021 to outstanding football Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s criticism of his political activism.

“I preach about my people and I preach about equality, social injustice, racism, systemic voter suppression, things that happen in our community,” James said. “I still know what’s going on, because I have a group of over 300 kids at my school who are going through the same thing, and they need a voice, and I am their voice. I will use my platform to continue to shed light on everything that is happening in this country and around the world. There’s no way I’m going to limit myself to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.»

The I Promise School in Akron, for at-risk students, is supported by the LeBron James Family Foundation.

Although James is now the league’s all-time leading scorer, the debate over who is the NBA’s GOAT, or the greatest of all time, will continue among fans.

James, however, has said he wants to build on his legacy and looks forward to playing in the NBA with his sons, Bronny, a high school senior, and Bryce, a sophomore.

James once again appeared in Sports Illustrated last year, but this time his sons joined him on a cover that read: «Chosen Sons.»

This is a developing history. Please check for updates.

The Associated Press and phil helsell contributed.