James entered the night needing 10 points to pass "The Logo." He got them early and eclipsed West with a corner 3-pointer with 2:55 remaining in the first quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 104-99 loss to the Detroit Pistons. James finished with 30 points.
"Obviously, every single day, that's what we all represent," James said. "We all represent The Logo. You know, everyone -- media, myself, my teammates, organization, fans -- we all represent The Logo.
"To be able to pass a legend like himself, it's an honor, an honor for sure. I know how much he did for the game, what he meant to the game. You know, I had an opportunity to read his book. I had an opportunity to actually talk to him a few times. ... It's pretty cool."
West played 932 games over 14 seasons to reach his career point total. James reached the mark in his 922nd game and as a 13-year veteran.
Next on the list is Indiana Pacers great Reggie Miller,at No. 18 with 25,279 points.
James entered Tuesday averaging 27.0 points per game this season.
If he is able to maintain that pace while playing all 82 games for the Cavs, as he has stated is his goal, he could pass Hakeem Olajuwon's 26,946 points, which currently rank 10th all-time.
LeBron passes West on scoring list
LeBron James passes Jerry West for 19th place on the all-time NBA scoring list with his first-quarter 3-pointer Tuesday.
LeBron moves up scoring list in loss to Pistons
LeBron James passes Jerry West on the all-time scoring list, but his 30 points aren't enough for the Cavaliers as they fall to the Pistons 104-99.