LEBRON JAMES has passed Michael Jordan to become the all-time NBA playoffs scorer.
The 32-year-old finished with 35 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 135-102 win over the Boston Celtics, clinching the third straight conference title for the Cavs and his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals.
With those 35 points, LeBron burst past Michael Jordan to become the No. 1 scorer in NBA playoff history, with 5,995 points.
Michael Jordan’s record, 5,987, had stood for 20 years as he scored his last playoff points in the Chicago Bulls’ Game 6 win over the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals.
“I wear the number because of Mike,” LeBron told ESPN of the No. 23 on his uniform. “I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just because of what he was able to accomplish. When you’re watching Michael Jordan it’s almost like a god. So I didn’t think I could be Mike.”
“For my name to come up in the discussion with the greatest basketball player of all time, it’s like, ‘Wow,’ ” he added. “Like I said, I did pretty much everything that MJ did when I was a kid… I didn’t go bald like Mike, but I’m getting there. But [my baldness] will be post-career, though. That’s the only thing I didn’t do. But other than that, I did everything Mike did. I even wore a wristband on my forearm.”
Reflecting on his achievement, he said: “I think the biggest thing for me sitting here today after breaking the all-time scoring record in playoff history is that I did it just being me.
“I don’t have to score the ball to make an impact in the basketball game. That was my mindset when I started playing the game. I was like, if I’m not scoring the ball, how can I still make an impact on the game? It’s carried me all the way to this point now, and it’s going to carry me for the rest of my career.”
Friend and Bulls guard Dwyane Wade took to Twitter to congratulate his former Miami Heat teammate on reaching the NBA Finals yet again.
“Congrats to my bro @KingJames on going to his 7th straight finals,” he said.