LeBron James has been the clear leader of the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging over 30 points for two months in a row. Despite his impressive individual performances, the team has been doing far from great, going on a five-game and three-game losing streaks.
The four-time NBA champion has been accused by sports analyst Skip Bayless for caring about his numbers too much in an attempt to reach new records and build his GOAT case. James himself has repeatedly stated in press conferences that he only cares about winning games.
A still photo from a Lakers game might add substance to Bayless’ case. In this photo, LeBron is seen sitting on the bench and holding a sheet of paper, which is supposedly a statsheet, with Russell Westbrook sitting next to him and looking at what James is holding in his hands.
Former NBA player Kwame Brown had a strong opinion on the episode. According to him, the fact that James is looking at the statsheet during a game is the reason why the Lakers are losing. Brown remembered his own career when he would never look at a statsheet after a loss and would not let his teammates do that either.
He also compared LeBron’s behaviour to Kobe Bryant, saying that the late Lakers legend would have never done anything like that.
Via Peter Dewey of Lakers Daily:
“When I saw brother LeBron watching the stat sheet, that told me all I needed to know on why the Lakers are losing,” Brown said. “That told me all I needed to know why that team is not connected on defense.
“Because I played since little league, since high school, and all the high school coaches around the world can attest to this. They would never, high school, college or whatever, they would never allow a player to watch a stat sheet on a bench. Especially while they’re losing.
“What is that stat sheet teaching you? It’s not teaching you anything. I used to make sure – we lost a game, I wouldn’t let nobody on our bus touch a stat sheet. We lost. What the f— are we looking at the stats for?
“So for LeBron to be looking at the stat sheet on the bench, for all you young guys out there, I’m not taking away anything from the way he plays the basketball game. He’s still great. He’s still going to go down in the history as a great player. But that was the wrong message to send. That was horrible, and none of you players should ever emulate that.”
This season, James, 37, is averaging 28.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game for Los Angeles. At this point, LeBron is third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 36,264 career points. He is behind Karlo Malone (36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387).