28th November 2023 – (Cleveland) LeBron James, the NBA superstar, etched his name into basketball history once more on Monday night. However, this remarkable achievement was somewhat overshadowed by the most severe loss of his illustrious 20-year career.
In the opening quarter of the Lakers’ match against the Philadelphia 76ers, James eclipsed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s league record for total minutes played, notching up 66,298 minutes. Abdul-Jabbar’s previous record stood at 66,297 minutes, including both regular season and playoff games.
This achievement comes on the back of last season, when James outpaced Abdul-Jabbar to clinch the all-time NBA scoring record, previously held by the acclaimed Bucks and Lakers centre. With his scoring prowess undiminished, James became the first NBA player to score 39,000 career points. He continues to widen the gap from Abdul-Jabbar’s former record of 38,387 points.
Despite ceding two records to James, Abdul-Jabbar still holds the NBA record for the most field goals made, with a total of 15,837. James, who commenced Monday night’s game with 14,304 field goals, holds his own record for the most field goals made in the playoffs, boasting a remarkable 2,872.
Furthermore, James ranks fourth on the NBA’s all-time assists list, trailing behind Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and the record-holder, John Stockton, who has amassed an impressive 15,806 assists.
Nonetheless, James’s latest record-setting game was tarnished by a crushing defeat. The LA Lakers suffered their heaviest defeat in 290 games, with the 76ers accelerating to a 138-94 victory, leaving the Lakers trailing by a staggering 44 points.
James is no stranger to significant losses. His Miami Heat team once suffered a 36-point defeat in the NBA Finals, and in 2019, the Indiana Pacers trounced James and the Lakers by 42 points. However, this recent blowout marks a new low for James, who, in an unusual turn of events, failed to secure a single rebound during the game.
Reflecting on the game, James acknowledged the need for considerable changes. “What needs to change in order for that to not happen again? A lot,” he conceded. “We got killed on the three-point line. They made shots. Give them credit.”
The 76ers dominated the game, leading by 25 points in the first half and concluding the match with a total of 22 three-pointers compared to the Lakers’ paltry seven. Despite Joel Embiid, Philadelphia’s star centre, sitting out the entire fourth quarter, the 76ers still outscored the Lakers 40-14.