NBA

LeBron James 'hated' circumstances of reaching record 40,000-point mark

By Sports Desk March 04, 2024

LeBron James "hated" the circumstances in which he reached 40,000 career points as it came in a defeat for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA's record all-time scorer hit the latest milestone in his career in the second quarter of his side's 124-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

James scored a team-high 26 points, taking his overall tally to 40,017, but it was not enough as the Lakers' two-game winning run was snapped.

"For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that's the win," James said after the contest at Crypto.com Arena

"I hated that it had to happen in the defeat, especially versus the team that plays extremely well. 

"We played some good basketball tonight, but wasn't able to close it out. So, it's bittersweet but I enjoyed every moment tonight on the floor."

James is averaging 25.3 points per game this season, which is currently the 17th-best return of any player.

"I feel like I'm still that threat out on the floor and I am still able to do the things that I was doing 10 and even 20 years ago," James added.

The loss was the Lakers' eighth in a row against the Nuggets and continued a theme of James losing games in which he hits a milestone figure.

James also fell short in games that saw him hit 10,000 rebounds, 10,000 assists, 30,000 points and a record 38,388 points.

The 20-time NBA All-Star surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 40-year points record last season and is showing no signs of letting up.

Of all active players, the Phoenix Suns' Kevin Durant is closest to James with 28,342 points, while Stephen Curry has 23,254 points.

Asked if James' ever-growing tally will ever be surpassed, team-mate Anthony Davis said: "Possibly Steph, the way he shoots the ball, but I guess not?"

"It's just tough because he's not finished playing, so it's only going to increase. That gap is only going to get bigger and bigger.

"So as of right now, I don't see anybody breaking his record."

James does not quite see it that way, though, adding: "We have a lot of great guys in our league that can score the ball.

"If they were to stay healthy and they would play a long time, then they can eclipse it. Records are always meant to be broken. Never say never."

The 33-29 Lakers are 10th in the Western Conference ahead of facing the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.

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