The American playmaker from Monaco, Mike James, 33, became, Thursday evening against Red Star Belgrade, the best scorer in the history of the Euroleague, surpassing the 4,455 career points scored by the Greek Vasilios Spanoulis between 2005 and 2021.

James, 4,444 points before this meeting counting for the 28th day of the Euroleague, initially equaled Spanoulis’ record on a free throw (31-23). Then, still in the second quarter, he beat him on a mid-range shot, about four minutes before the break, to temporarily bring him to 4,457 points.

In accordance with the protocol provided by the Euroleague, the match was stopped for a few minutes to give him, to the sound of the song “Eye of the Tiger”, soundtrack of the film “Rocky III”, the ball of the match, under the ovation reserved by the public in the Gaston-Médecin room, before the game resumes. At the time of the establishment of the new record of James, who, since 2014, participated in the Euroleague under the colors of the teams of Vitoria (Spain), Panathinaikos (Greece), Milan (Italy) and CSKA Moscow ( Russia), Monaco led 38-31 against Belgrade.

For his first ball, James showed that he was not yet obsessed with his upcoming exploit: he offered a nice assist for his Lithuanian pivot Donatas Motiejunas. Subsequently, he scored his first three points on a basket, with the mistake (7-7, 3rd).

In front of his parents and friends, who came specially from the United States for the occasion, James, long considered a player difficult to channel and known for his complicated relationships with coaches Ettore Messina, who did not keep him in Milan, then Dimitris Itoudis in Moscow, then achieved his evening’s goal before half-time.

From now on, James has only one goal: to qualify Monaco for the Final 4 in Berlin, from May 24 to 26, and win it for the first time in his career.