LeBron James makes history again despite suffering the worst loss of his career against the Philadelphia 76ers.
LeBron James now leads the most minutes in NBA History
Inspire the next generation 👑 pic.twitter.com/Dg11Mub5cZ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 27, 2023
LeBron James may be the oldest player in the NBA, yet he still remains one of the finest. A generational talent, James set another milestone in one of the worst losses of his career. On Monday night, the Lakers conceded to the 76ers, 138-94, a 44-point deficit, making it the fifth worse loss in Lakers history. Now in his 21st season in the league, James is still making moves along the history books amongst the greatest athletes to ever play the game. This time, James now leads the NBA in minutes played (Including the playoffs).
There are a few aspects we do know, LeBron James has played a lot of basketball, and it doesn't look as though he's slowing down anytime soon. He's arguably the best player to ever play professional basketball, next to Michael Jordan. We'll save that debate for a later time.
The Lakers got blown out by the 76ers
Not our night. pic.twitter.com/b8ozTYkSeW— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 28, 2023
Monday was such a prime accomplishment for James, although it was such a strange scenario. In spite of witnessing greatness, Los Angeles got destroyed from the three-point line, and No. 24 finished with zero rebounds. Averaging 7.5 rebounds per game this season, it's the first time the 4x NBA Champion hasn't grabbed a single board since Nov. 2010. Overall, we can't take away the eminence of LeBron James. Incredibly durable at his age, James remains of the strongest, most athletic players in the game. With James vs. father time, the forward leads the Lakers in scoring and assists, putting up 25.1 points and 6.5 dimes per game.
There are not many players who are putting up those calibers of numbers, next to Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. LeBron James currently ranks top 10 in points scored, and right outside the top 10 in minutes per game. That's not bad for a player who's been in the league right out of high school.
LeBron's is the NBA all-time leader in points scored
With LeBron James becoming the first player in NBA history to reach 39,000 points, look back at his journey to becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer! 👑 pic.twitter.com/t3YTnJIccF— NBA (@NBA) November 22, 2023
Having four NBA rings of his own, James recently surpassed Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar with the most points scored in NBA history with 38,388. Now at 39,078 career points, James once against has soared past Abdul-Jabbar for the most minutes played in history (66,318). With that record including the playoffs, at 38 years old, the Cleveland native already holds the records for most minutes played in the post-season with 11,654. Right behind him is Karl Malone, with over 62,000 minutes played, Dirk Nowitzki, and the late Kobe Bryant.
So much for Darvin Ham limiting James this season. Proving his value to this organization, as of November 25, the Lakers are +87 with LeBron on the court, including a 115.8 offensive, and 107.7 defensive rating. Without James, Los Angeles has a -13.2 net rating. If that doesn't speak volumes how important this man is to the Lakers and the game of basketball, I don't know what does. Blessed with a fairly, healthy career, James is showing the meticulous athlete he is, putting up fascinating statistics.
James is only focused on winning
For James, he has a lot of mileage on the court. Even more impressive, No. 23 has as total of 16 years of postseason runs between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. Not an easy task, playing a high volume of playoff minutes would be tough mentally and physically for any player. Approaching 40 years old, James has a career postseason average of 41.3 minutes per game.
Sitting at 10-8 in the Western Conference, the Lakers found themselves down 32-19 in the first quarter and reached a deficit of 46 points. Scoring a team high 18 points on 8-12 field goal shooting, the King wasn't thrilled about his personal accolades alongside the worst loss of his career. Previously, the Lakers were rocked by the Indiana Pacers 136-94 in 2019 and finished with a 37-45 overall record.
Last night, the Lakers allowed Sixers stars Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey to combine for 61 points and 19 assists. Embiid finished the night with another triple double, in which Philadelphia finished with game high 11 steals. The Sixers finished 22-26 from the free-throw line, and 22-46 (47.8) percent from beyond the arc.
LeBron James wasn't too thrilled with the milestone following the loss
"That don't mean much to me," James told the press inside the locker room. When asked about the blowout against Philadelphia, the future Hall of Famer stated "a lot" needs to change. A man of few words, the Lakers star wasn't enthusiastic about the milestone.
Far less interested in the history books, 17 games into the season, James is dialed into what the Lakers need to change in order to win banner No. 18. As he continues to climb the stats book, James currently ranks fourth in all-time assists, behind John Stockton, Jason Kidd, and good friend Chris Paul.
Los Angeles is the 8th seed in the West, and sealed victories in four of the last six games. James and the Lakers will look to bounce back against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday evening.
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Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter at Ballislife, and a Sports Content Creator on Twitch and TikTok. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.