LeBron James, Who Grew Up Idolizing Michael Jordan, Breaks MJ’s Playoff Scoring Record

BOSTON (92.3 The Fan/AP) — King James has another throne.

LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan for the top spot on the NBA’s all-time playoff scoring list on Thursday night. The Cavaliers star hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics that gave him 29 points in the game and 5,989 points in his postseason career.

“I wear the number because of Mike. I think I fell in love with the game because of Mike, just seeing what he was able to accomplish,” James said. “When you’re growing up and you’re seeing Michael Jordan, it’s almost like a god. So I didn’t ever believe I could be Mike. I started to focus on myself on other players and other people around my neighborhood because I never thought that you could get to a point where Mike was.

“So I think that helped shape my game. 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 because scoring is not No. 1 on my agenda.”

Jordan scored 5,987 in his postseason career in 179 games from 1985-2003.

“I think at the end of the day, for my name to come up in the discussion with the greatest basketball player of all time, it’s like, wow,” James said. “Like I said, I did pretty much everything that MJ did when I was a kid. I shot fadeaways before I should have. I wore a leg sleeve on my leg and folded it down so you saw the red part. I wore black and red shoes with white socks. I wore short shorts so you could see my undershorts underneath. I didn’t go bald like Mike, but I’m getting there. But it 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. I didn’t do the hoop earring, either. That was Mike. But I did everything Mike did, man.”

James played in his 212th career postseason game on Thursday night, that saw the Cavaliers beat the Celtics 135-102 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals to claim the team’s third straight conference title.

James, who is the first player in NBA history to lead 2 different teams to 4 NBA Finals, entered the game 27 points behind Jordan.

While he grew up wanting to ‘Be like Mike,’ there is a new generation that is growing up wanting to be like LeBron.

“It’s been part of the plan since I really started taking this game serious, to say how can I get the youth to feel like passing the ball is OK, making the extra pass is OK, drawing two defenders and no matter if you win or lose, if you make the right play, it’s OK,” James said. “Scoring the ball is so heralded in our sport. I want the fundamentals of the game to be as great as they can be. And if some kid or a group of kids from the West Coast or the East Coast or the Midwest or the South and everything in between all around the world can look at me and say, well, I made the extra pass because LeBron made the extra pass, or I got a chase-down block and I didn’t give up on the play because LeBron didn’t give up, that would mean the world to me.”

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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