Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James made some holiday history on Saturday. With his point production against the Brooklyn Nets, James passed Kobe Bryant to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer on Christmas.
Bryant scored 395 total points in 16 career Christmas games. Entering Saturday's contest, James needed just 13 points to pass the Lakers legend, and he officially eclipsed Bryant with a pair of free throws late in the second quarter.
The record is a testament to the longevity of James, who played in his first Christmas game as a rookie in 2003. Saturday's matchup marked the 16th time that James has played on Christmas Day, which ties him with Bryant for the most all-time. During those games, the star forward has put together averages of 25.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.1 assists while shooting 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. James has represented the Cleveland Cavaliers (in two stints), Miami Heat, and now the Lakers on Christmas, and has accumulated a 10-5 record in those contests.
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This isn't the first time that James has passed Bryant on one of the league's lists. Last year, he also passed Bryant for third on the NBA's all-time scoring list -- an accomplishment he didn't take lightly given the respect that he has for Bryant.
"I'm happy just to be in any conversation with Kobe Bean Bryant, one of the all-time greatest basketball players to ever play, one of the all-time greatest Lakers. The man has two jerseys hanging up in Staples Center," James said of Bryant after passing him on the scoring list last year, via ESPN. "It's another guy that I looked up to when I was in grade school and high school. Seeing him come straight out of high school, he is someone that I used as inspiration.
"It was like, wow. Seeing a kid, 17 years old, come into the NBA and trying to make an impact on a franchise, I used it as motivation. He helped me before he even knew of me because of what he was able to do. So just to be able to, at this point of my career, to share the same jersey that he wore, be with this historical franchise and just represent the purple and gold, it's very humbling, and it's dope."
James has long been known as "The King," and now he's officially the NBA's king of Christmas.