LeBron James becomes youngest player to reach 25,000 points

LeBron James becomes 20th and youngest player in NBA history to score 25,000 points

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

After becoming the youngest player in NBA history to surpass 25,000 career points on Monday, LeBron James sat in the locker room in the Wells Fargo Center with his feet in an ice bucket, an ice bag on each knee and another ice bag on his back.

No matter the aches and pains for the Cleveland Cavaliers forward, the 13-year veteran makes it look easy.

Needing 21 points at the start of the road game against the Philadelphia 76ers to reach the milestone, James scored 22 while collecting 11 assists and nine rebounds in Cleveland's 107-100 victory.

He surpassed the mark when he dunked a lob from guard Matthew Dellavedova with 8:07 remaining and left the game for good shortly after that.

At 30 years and 307 days, James surpassed Kobe Bryant (31 years, 351 days) as the youngest to achieve the milestone.

James, who is 20th on the all-time scoring list, could not immediately put the mark in perspective.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "I haven't had an opportunity to categorise the list of things I've done."

James did say that it was great to reach the mark in a victory while playing with a group of team mates he enjoys and, he added, "in a building that loves the game of basketball".

Cavaliers coach David Blatt called it an "extremely important, extremely impressive" mark.

"To be the youngest player in the history of the game to score 25,000 points - particularly when you're every bit the passer that you are the scorer - is just a testament to his greatness," Blatt said.

The Philadelphia fans accorded James with a standing ovation during a timeout with 7:45 left, when an announcement was made about his achievement.

"Obviously, they're Sixer fans to death, but they know and they respect the game of basketball," James added. "To get a standing ovation reaching that milestone, it was very special."

The former Miami Heat leader said the mark was a tribute to playing with "two great organisations" and having great team mates and coaches around him. The most important thing, he said, was, "I've been able to stay healthy, relative, in my career."

Then he knocked on a wooden bench. The ice bags were still on his knees and his feet were still in the bucket.

Sixers coach Brett Brown was, of course, asked about James afterward, and he talked not so much about his scoring as his leadership and intellect.

"He sees stuff," Brown said. "He's telling us about an assist before he even passes it. It's just the whole package he brings to the table. He's very, very unusual and very unique."