LeBron James didn’t just tie Michael Jordan’s record for most consecutive games with 10-plus points Wednesday night; he did it in front of the legend himself.
James’ 41-point performance sunk the Charlotte Hornets — the team Jordan owns — in a 118-105 Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory. It was the 866th consecutive game in which he’d scored in double-digits, matching Jordan’s NBA record, set back in 2001.
The effort didn’t go unnoticed by the North Carolina crowd. James, who added 11 rebounds and eight assists in a typically-brilliant 2018 performance, drew a standing ovation and an “MVP” chant when he checked out of the game for the final time in the fourth quarter.
The gravity of the moment wasn’t lost on the 33-year-old star.
“It’s just kind of organic,” James told reporters after the game when asked about how he pulled off his latest NBA record. “It happens, and anytime I’m mentioned with some of the greats, and arguably the greatest basketball player of all time in Mike, it’s just another feat for me to be appreciative and humbled by what I’ve been able to do. And just knowing where I come from and knowing, I look at it and say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I’m in this position,’ knowing where I come from.”
He joins some elite company thanks to his consistency. Jordan set the record between 1986 and 2001, spanning two retirements and his final comeback stint with the Washington Wizards. Before him, the record was held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — the league’s all-time scoring leader.
James can break Jordan’s record Friday night when his Cavs face the New Orleans Pelicans back home in Cleveland. That’s where his streak started back in 2007 in a 96-91 win over a Nets team that was still based in New Jersey. James’ teammates that night were Larry Hughes, Eric Snow, Drew Gooden, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They watched as he dropped a 19-point, 13-rebound performance to serve as the first step in a long, continuing journey.
Only one man from that 2007 Cavaliers team is still in the league, and he’s been nigh unstoppable in the 11-plus years since. James proved himself Michael Jordan’s peer on Wednesday night by tying a grueling record that measures consistency and longevity — and he did it in front of the legend himself.