James came into the day trailing Iverson by three points and wasted little time passing him, scoring four points in the first 1:33 of the game and leapfrogging the former Philadelphia 76ers star on a layup off an assist from Kevin Love. After finishing with 18 points against the Knicks, James has 24,383 points for his career.
"It's very, very humbling, and it's an honor to just be named with some of the greats that I watched growing up," James said after the game. "And now to know that I passed Allen Iverson on the all-time scoring list, for someone that's not much of a scorer -- as you guys have deemed me -- it is pretty cool."
James' sly dig at the media was presumably directed at the criticism he received early in his career for passing the ball rather than attempting shots late in games. Although he has won just one scoring title (2007-08) during his 12-year career thus far, James' 27.4 points-per-game career scoring average is the third-highest in league history, trailing only those of Michael Jordan (30.12) and Wilt Chamberlain (30.07).
Iverson averaged 26.66 points for his career while shooting 42.5 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent on 3-pointers. James is shooting 49.6 percent overall for his career and 34.1 percent on 3s.
"It just means that my teammates have allowed me to do things to help them win ballgames, and I've been fortunate enough to go out and bless the game the best way I know how and just play hard," James added when asked to reflect on the accomplishment.
Passing Iverson on the scoring list was yet another accomplishment by James while playing at Madison Square Garden, where he has traditionally had big games.
"It's always special being in this building," James said. "Like I said last weekend [at the NBA All-Star Game], it's the mecca of basketball. So it's always special to get on the court."
He is 122 points behind the No. 21 player on the list, his former Miami Heat teammate, Ray Allen.