During the locker room conversation, LeBron James constantly rummaged through his bag, looked at the floor and was careful not to use words. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar didn’t want to talk at all on this depressing evening, but he had to.
But his answers were as brief as possible after the biggest defeat in his 21 years in the NBA. “What has to happen so that something like this doesn’t happen again? A lot,” explained the four-time champion.
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After 48 minutes it was 94:138 at the Wells Fargo Center, with a difference of 44 points between the Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers. What a disgrace.
LeBron quarrels after disgrace – and demands improvement
After 18 games, the Californians have a positive record of 10-8, but the defeat raised big questions. LeBron was his team’s top scorer with 18 points, but remained far below his potential. In an impressive 21st season so far, even a 38-year-old superstar can of course have a worse day, but the trend for him and his teammates goes against his expectations.
It wasn’t the first time that James’ teammates let their superstar down; the “King” had to carry his team on his shoulders almost single-handedly several times this season. If James doesn’t perform like he did in Philadelphia, things could end badly for the record champion.
How much longer will James put up with this? The 38-year-old was already thinking about ending his career in the summer. “I now have to see what happens next for me personally with basketball. “I’m going to spend a lot of time thinking about it now,” said James after the playoff loss to Denver.
As expected, LeBron decided against it and called for the hunt for his personal fifth championship. The “King” should also be aware that the Lakers still have to stretch significantly to achieve this goal. His mood didn’t bode well; the team’s onward journey to Detroit would certainly be unpleasant.
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James still achieved a personal record in Philadelphia – even if he didn’t want to set it too high. In the operating time category, he replaced the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as number one in the all-time best list.
“That doesn’t mean much to me,” said the 38-year-old shortly. The best point collector in league history now stands at 66,319 minutes; Abdul-Jabbar had 66,297 minutes in his career, including main round and playoff games.
Historic bankruptcy for James: 76ers replace Mavericks and Nowitzki
For Philadelphia, MVP Joel Embiid achieved a triple-double with 30 points as well as eleven rebounds and assists. The Sixers sank 22 three-pointers, LA seven (on 28 attempts).
The record champions suffered the fifth-highest bankruptcy in their history in Philadelphia. Incidentally, the current eighth place in the Western Conference suffered the worst in January 2017 with a 73:122 defeat by the Dallas Mavericks against German NBA icon Dirk Nowitzki. James was still playing in Cleveland at the time.
With Sports Information Service (SID)
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