Abdul-Jabbar breaks points record - HISTORY
Year
1984

Abdul-Jabbar breaks points record

On this day in 1984, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scores the 31,420th point of his career, breaking the NBA’s all-time scoring record, which had been held by Wilt Chamberlain.

Over 18,000 fans gathered at the Thomas and Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to watch the Utah Jazz play Abdul-Jabbar and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 5. With less than nine minutes left in the game, Magic Johnson passed the ball to his 7’2″ teammate and Abdul-Jabbar scored his 22nd point of the night and 31,420th point of his career. The game stopped as Abdul-Jabbar’s teammates rushed to congratulate him and the fans gave him an extended standing ovation. Abdul-Jabbar, 37, was then taken out of the game, after making 10 of 14 baskets from the field and two out two from the foul line, plus five rebounds and three assists. The Lakers went on to win the game, 129-115.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., on April 16, 1947, in New York City, and changed his name in 1971 after converting to Islam. As a star center at UCLA, he led his team to three NCAA championships, in 1967, 1968 and 1969. He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as the first overall pick in 1969 NBA draft and named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1970. The following season, the Bucks took home the NBA championship and Abdul-Jabbar won the first of a record six Most Valuable Player awards he received during his 20-year NBA career. In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar joined the Lakers and became part of a dynasty that won the NBA championship in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988. Abdul-Jabbar, who was named to a record 19 NBA All-Star teams, retired from pro basketball at age 42 in 1989 with 38,387 points. He remains the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. By comparison, Karl Malone scored 36,374 in 19 seasons, Michael Jordan had 32,392 points in 15 seasons, while Wilt Chamberlain racked up 31,419 points in 14 seasons and Moses Malone had 27,409 points in 19 seasons.

In addition to his all-time scoring record, Abdul-Jabbar holds the league record for most minutes played (54,446) and most blocked shots (3,189). He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Winston Churchill resigns

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, retires as prime minister of Great Britain.Born at Blenheim Palace in 1874, Churchill joined the British Fourth Hussars upon his father’s death in ...read more

Rosenbergs sentenced to die

At the end of a highly publicized espionage case, death sentences are imposed against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, one week after the couple were found guilty of conspiring to transmit atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.The Rosenberg case began with the arrest of Klaus Fuchs, a ...read more

Pocahontas marries John Rolfe

Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Indian confederacy, marries English tobacco planter John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia. The marriage ensured peace between the Jamestown settlers and the Powhatan Indians for several years.In May 1607, about 100 English colonists ...read more

Howard Hughes dies

Howard Robard Hughes, one of the richest men to emerge from the American West during the 20th century, dies while flying from Acapulco to Houston.Born in Houston, Texas, in 1905, Hughes inherited an estate of nearly a million dollars when his father died in 1923. Hughes’ father ...read more

Charlton Heston dies

Best known in his later years as the outspoken president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the actor Charlton Heston first earned a reputation in Hollywood for playing larger-than-life figures in epic movies such as The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur. He died on this day in ...read more

Tornadoes devastate Tupelo and Gainesville

On this day in 1936, two small towns in Mississippi and Georgia are devastated by tornadoes, killing 200 people in one of the deadliest spates of tornadoes in United States history. A total of 466 people were killed over four days of nearly continuous twisters. Another 3,500 ...read more

Kurt Cobain commits suicide

Modern rock icon Kurt Cobain commits suicide on this day in 1994. His body was discovered inside his home in Seattle, Washington, three days later by Gary Smith, an electrician, who was installing a security system in the suburban house. Despite indications that Cobain, the lead ...read more

Rosenbergs sentenced to death for spying

The climax of the most sensational spy trial in American history is reached when a federal judge sentences Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death for their roles in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. Although the couple proclaimed their innocence, they died in the electric chair ...read more

Siege of Yorktown begins

Union forces under General George McClellan arrive at Yorktown, Virginia, and establish siege lines instead of directly attacking the Confederate defenders.This was the opening of McClellan’s Peninsular campaign. He sailed his massive Army of the Potomac down Chesapeake Bay and ...read more

NASCAR legend Lee Petty dies

On April 5, 2000, Lee Petty, an early star of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and the patriarch of a racing dynasty that includes his son, NASCAR legend Richard Petty, dies at the age 86 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Lee Petty won more than 50 races ...read more