Just days prior to LeBron James surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, the Los Angeles Lakers gifted the 75-year-old “Tower of Power” with a massive, custom-made ring set with 578 brilliant-cut white diamonds.
For 38 years, the 7’2” center held the scoring record that many experts believed would never be broken. But, on Tuesday, February 7, fellow Laker LeBron James made history as he topped Abdul-Jabbar’s point total of 38,387 in a contest against the Oklahoma Thunder.
Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday, and eye witnesses reported that the elder statesman was sporting his new bling when he walked onto the court to congratulate James.
Designed by Jason Arasheben, the CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills, the six-time NBA champ’s ring tells the story of one of the most enduring records in all of sports.
“The Lakers are a first-class organization and always cherish and recognize players both old and new,” Arasheben told TMZ Sports. “We were very excited to help bring this ring to life and celebrate the career of one of the all-time greats.”
The face of the ring features a diamond-adorned silhouette of the Hall of Famer shooting his iconic sky hook superimposed over his “33” jersey number, also rendered in diamonds. A Lakers-purple enamel frame adds a bright accent color to the yellow gold and diamond motif.
One side of the ring shows Abdul-Jabbar’s name and jersey number in raised gold letters, and his career scoring total of 38,387 chiseled out of a polished gold horizontal band.
The other side of the ring lists the date Abdul-Jabbar broke the record previously held by another Lakers superstar, Wilt Chamberlain. On April 5, 1984, he surpassed Chamberlain’s mark of 31,419 points. Also shown on this side of the ring is the phrase “38 Years,” which is the duration Abdul-Jabbar held the record. More precisely, he held it for 38 years, 10 months and two days.
Abdul-Jabbar’s storied career spanned 21 seasons, 14 of which were with the Los Angeles Lakers. During that time, he led the team to five championships.
On his blog, a gracious Abdul-Jabbar complimented James’ accomplishment.
“This is all about LeBron doing something no one else has done, about scoring more points than anyone has been able to in 75 years,” he wrote. “There are no ‘yeah, buts,’ just praise where it is rightfully and righteously due.”
On his Twitter page, Abdul-Jabbar narrated a video honoring LeBron, while pointing out the oddity that he broke Chamberlain’s record in the same year LeBron was born.
He said, “There couldn’t have been a better person to do it than LeBron. He earned it. He worked hard for it. It’s kinda interesting that he was born the year that I had set the record. All this is kinda serendipity, as I guess they call it.”
Credits: Ring screen captures via Instagram / jasonofbeverlyhills. Black and white action shot by New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Close-up photo by Yahoo from Sunnyvale, California, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Sky hook photo by copyright Steve lipofsky www.Basketballphoto.com, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.