LeBron James makes NBA playoff history every time he steps onto the court.
Not only is James the all-time leading scorer in the playoffs with 7,132 points and counting, but he’s also appeared in more games and played more minutes in the postseason than anyone in history. Now, James can also say he’s won more games than anyone in history.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 112-102 in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals. That win was the 162nd playoff win of James’ career, which put him ahead of Derek Fisher for the No. 1 spot on the all-time individual playoff wins list. Fisher got his 161st win when he was 39 years old. James got his at the age of 35.
Following Tuesday’s game, James talked about what his latest accolade means to him, and who he credits for his long and successful playoff career.
“I haven’t had a moment to really think about it,” James said. “I’m already kind of preparing for Game 4. But when I hear it, just to know the history of the game, from growing up as a kid watching the NBA playoffs, seeing so many dominant players, so many dominant franchises, seeing who was victorious out there during a lot of series, and to know that I sit at the top of most wins for any individual is very humbling, and something that I never dreamed of.
“I never came into the league as a kid saying I want to be No. 1 in playoff wins. I’ve always said I wanted to be a part of a winning culture and a winning player, and be part of the reason my teammates win, but it doesn’t happen without my teammates over the years, my coaching staffs, everyone from the top to bottom. GMs, owners, training staffs, ball boys, everyone. Everyone has a hand in that because we’re all a part of the process of success. In Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers, I’ve been a part of three great organizations and that has allowed me to be a part of something that’s historic.”
As Lakers fans, it might be easy to take generational talents like James for granted because of how many generational talents have worn the purple and gold throughout the years, from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Kobe Bryant. It’s important that we don’t, though, and that goes for people that aren’t Lakers fans too.
The things James is doing in his 17th season are unprecedented and as basketball fans, we’re all lucky to be alive to witness the history he’s making. If the stars align, maybe James’ 17th season will end with another championship, but if it doesn’t, it shouldn’t take away from what he’s been able to accomplish. He’s incredible and Tuesday was just another example.
Long live The King.