James officially passed Abdul-Jabbar in the first half of the Lakers' 138-94 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Including his 29 minutes on Monday, James has now played 66,318 career minutes to Kareem's 66,297.
Again, that number includes the playoffs. The official record, as is the case with the all-time scoring record (which LeBron also owns after passing Kareem last season), only counts regular-season minutes.
On that list, James currently sits in third place with 54,664 minutes played including Monday night, trailing Karl Malone (54,852) and Abdul-Jabbar (57,446).
In terms of mileage, you have to factor in LeBron's 11,654 postseason minutes to paint an accurate picture of the insane workload he has endured over his 20-plus NBA seasons.
Those postseason minutes, in fact, are considerably more stressful, both mentally and physically, for any player, let alone one with the responsibility of James, whose body and mind pays a massive two-way toll against the league's best competition playing at its most competitive level in the playoffs.
To have logged this much time on an NBA court and still, at almost 39 years old, be putting up the numbers LeBron is putting up is starting to become unexplainable. We know he takes care of his body and mind. We know he has adjusted his game by incorporating more 3-pointers over the years to avoid at least some of the interior punishment. We know, for the most part, that LeBron has been relatively fortunate on the injury front, although again that can be at least partially attributed to his meticulous maintenance.
Still, the guy came into Monday night averaging over 25 points, eight rebounds and six-plus assists in his 21st season. Only two other guys in the league are hitting those statistical benchmarks: Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. LeBron has a better 2-point, 3-point and true-shooting percentage than both of them.
You can only explain so much of what he's doing. The rest can only be fully appreciated on your wildest imagination.