Lebron James outscores childhood hero Michael Jordan

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after passing Michael Jordan and moving to #4 on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on March 06, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after passing Michael Jordan and moving to #4 on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on March 06, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Credit: Robert Laberge

Credit: Robert Laberge

Lebron James surpassed basketball legend Michael Jordan on the NBA all-time scoring list Wednesday night.

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At the beginning of the Lakers' game against the Denver Nuggets, James trailed Jordan by 12 total career points, ESPN reported. By the end of the game, James' career point total was up to 32,311 -- surpassing Jordan, whose total is 32,292. James is now ranked No. 4 on the NBA all-scoring list.

James, 34, has played for the Lakers since last year. The Lakers fell to the Nuggets 115-99 Wednesday.

James tweeted about the possibility of the accomplishment before the game Wednesday, saying in part, "This is going to be UNREAL!!" When the achievement became real during the game's second quarter, James hid his face in a towel as the Staples Center played a video showcasing highlights of his career, according to ESPN.

"It was very emotional," James said. "Very emotional. A lot of things that was going on inside of me at that point in time. I wanted to look up at the scoreboard to kind of see what was going on up there, but at the same time I didn't want to show what was going on behind that towel, so it's just crazy.”

James spoke of the surreal nature of out-scoring Jordan, his childhood hero.

“For a kid from Akron, Ohio, that needed inspiration and needed some type of positive influence, MJ was that guy for me,” he said. “I watched him from afar, wanted to be like MJ, wanted to shoot fadeaways like MJ, wanted to stick my tongue out on dunks like MJ, wanted to wear my sneakers like MJ. I wanted kids to look up to me at some point like MJ.”

Jordan issued a statement Thursday on James’ achievement, saying, “I want to congratulate LeBron on achieving another great milestone during his amazing career,” Jordan said.

Next, James will have to surpass Kobe Bryant, who has amassed 33,643 career points, to take over the No. 3 spot.

Karl Malone is ranked No. 2 with 36,928 points. Topping the list is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at 38,387 points.