Figures from across the sports world were quick to congratulate LeBron James for passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list on Wednesday night.
And on Thursday, Jordan, the man himself, joined the list with a short statement.
“I want to congratulate LeBron on achieving another great milestone during his amazing career,” Jordan said in a statement.
James moved past Jordan’s 32,292 career points with a second quarter layup during the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. James finished the game with 31 points, giving him 32,311 for his career.
After the game, James said Jordan was his inspiration growing up.
“A lot of stuff that I have done in my career, this ranks right up there at the top with winning a championship,” James said. “For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me. I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ, wanted to shoot fadeaways like MJ, wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like MJ, wanted to wear my sneakers like MJ. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ.
“It’s crazy, to be honest. It’s beyond crazy.”
James also paid homage to Jordan with a message on his sneakers.
And after seeing MJ’s statement on Thursday, the kid from Akron took to Instagram to thank him:
James, in his first season with the Lakers and 16th NBA season overall, is now fourth all-time in scoring in the league’s history. Jordan reached his scoring total in 1,072 games over 15 seasons.
The 34-year-old James still has a ways to go to catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (33,643) for the top mark.
In the meantime, the MJ vs. LeBron GOAT debate will rage on.
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