Roca Team recorded its seventh win in a row in the EuroLeague on Thursday by beating Red Star Belgrade 98-80 a week after the historical victory at Barcelona. But the game in a packed Salle Gaston Médécin was almost entirely dominated by Mike James’ record.

The American star player of the basketball team of Monaco is now the all-time top scorer of the EuroLeague with 4,464 points. Of course, this number will increase. ‘Magic Mike’ surpassed the old record of Greek Vassilis Spanoulis (4,457) with a three-pointer in the second quarter. In total, he scored twenty points against Red Star. Of course, he received a standing ovation when this milestone was passed. His parents also came from Portland, Oregon (USA), to Monaco to experience their son’s special moment.

“I received a phone call from Vassilis on Wednesday to wish me luck. He showed that he was happy that I took over his record,” Mike James said after the game. “I wasn’t really thinking about the record because I was just concentrating on the match and I knew that sooner or later I would take over the record. The most important thing is that we would win this match. Of course it’s a special moment, but I wasn’t extra tense. I’ll probably remember it differently later, but it’s always special to get an ovation from the crowd during the game.”

The 33-year-old Mike James has been a playmaker of Roca Team since 2021 but made a name for himself in the EuroLeague with Panathinaikos, Olimpia Milano and CSKA Moscow and was also active in the NBA with Phoenix Suns. He became the star player of Roca Team last year, who finished third in the EuroLeague and became champions of France. He was already the EuroLeague’s top scorer with Olimpia Milano in 2019 and won league titles in Greece and Russia.

‘Le bon James’ (a nickname given by the sports daily l’Equipe) has scored double figures (or more than ten points) in the last 28 games in the EuroLeague. “I don’t think this is very special, because the playmaker is always supposed to score a lot. It’s the passion that excites me to always do it as well as I can. I love basketball and I love scoring and from the moment the game starts my attention is focused on that,” he said in Monaco Matin last week. “I just want my team to win all the time.”

On Thursday, coach Sasa Obradovic was full of praise for his top scorer: “It’s a great honour for me to be able to work with him. Mike has been a key player here for three years now and we’ve both grown up. We come from different worlds and quickly found each other thanks to our passion for the game. This was mainly the evening to pay tribute to him. This record will get an extra shine when we take a picture with the cup at the end of this season. That’s our ultimate goal and I think we’ve forced it to dream of that now.”

Monaco is currently in third place in the ranking, behind the Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona and seems to be heading for a participation in the play-offs. Next Thursday, Roca Team will play in Berlin against Alba.