Love or hate LeBron James, this document is not up for debate

It would not matter in case you just like the Los Angeles Lakers or in case you hate them a lot that yellow makes you yell and purple makes you puke.

It would not matter in case you love LeBron James with starstruck fervor or in case you like to hate him, as a result of hey, that is a part of sporting fandom too.

Tuesday evening wasn’t about all that form of stuff. It was an event as a lot because it was a recreation, though on a periphery observe, it was truly a reasonably darn good recreation, actually when contemplating the respective standings of the Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

No, this was a time to marvel on the weight of numbers and all the pieces they signify. With each level he gained James had Arena screaming ever louder for the pull of future. With every shot he missed it was a reminder that gathering factors within the NBA isn’t any easy proposition, not to mention 38,388 of them.

That’s the mark James reached with 10.9 seconds left within the third quarter, to bypass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the all-time profession factors listing, as the previous record-holder sat courtside, the person everybody checked out once they weren’t taking a look at James, even with a who’s who of celebrities filling the dear seats.

It is and can stay a rare and probably unbreakable piece of historical past, one which, fact be instructed, deserves more than the Lakers season in which it took place, with the chase of posterity overshadowing months of consistently dismal performance. Even Tuesday’s accomplishment came in a loss to a likely lottery team.

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But there’s been no inconsistency from James. He’s been hungry and remorseless, averaging 30 per game on the campaign even amid competitive frustration. It is possible to pick holes in anything, but it is also appropriate to know when not to, for if we love sports we must also recognize those who dedicate their lives to trying to perfect them.

Give the man his due. He’s never stopped and rarely slowed. He hasn’t always found winning situations, but he’s always sought them. He’s won titles for three franchises and assembled a collection of four rings. He’s probably not going to touch Michael Jordan’s six titles but he sure as heck was going to get this statistical behemoth, and from the moment he walked into the building on Tuesday it was clear this was the night he’d determined fit to do so.

There’s no “yeah, but.” You don’t fluke, or finagle, or sneak your way to 1,000 points in this league, let alone all these multiples of that number. It doesn’t matter if you felt The Decision was handled poorly, or if there’s sometimes been too much bombast, or if the COVID championship was weird, or if James made it all about himself on occasion.

Right now is for the applause, because that’s what you do when people defy what we think is feasible, like Michael Phelps did, and Serena Williams did, and Tom Brady, and all those who took conventional logic and laughed in the face of it.

You can’t argue with what it took, the combination of outrageously difficult things. To come into the league right out of high school, to start starring at the age his eldest child Bronny is now. To be the best and most prolific the league – for not some, or much, or most of his career – but for all of it.

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To stay healthy for that long. And, arguably most head-scratching of all, to reach the ultimate Everest of a scoring summit as something other than a pure scorer.

He won’t be around forever. There’s still a bit to go, so we are not yet at the point of saying enjoy James while he lasts. To be frank, there have been points this season when the Lakers have not been enjoyable to watch, not in the slightest.

This was different. The team can’t defend well, but there was intense effort, summed up by Anthony Davis’ dive into the bench to save a ball that would soon lead to James moving to within one of Abdul-Jabbar.

And then it happened, a fadeaway jumper that will live forever. The game stopped, for records like this are desperately rare. His family hit the court, Kareem moved to center circle, commissioner Adam Silver gave a speech and a montage played.

Time didn’t stand still, because it never does, it just feel like that sometimes. It moves on, quicker than we realize, which is how history is made, not all in one go, but bit by bit – in this case basket by basket.

Which is how the impossible becomes possible, and nights like this turn into celebrations.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the day by day publication.

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