During Tuesday night’s game in which LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, there was drama in the Los Angeles Lakers’ locker room.
Guard Russell Westbrook and head coach Darvin Ham were involved in a “brief, heated verbal exchange” in the locker room during halftime of the Lakers’ 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to a report by ESPN.
Ham was upset with Westbrook for lingering on the floor during the second quarter when Ham subbed him out before the two turned their attention toward defeating the Thunder, per the report.
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Westbrook played 28 minutes off the bench and scored 27 points, 14 of them in the fourth quarter.
Westbrook, who is in the final year of his contract, has accepted his role off of the bench this season, averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game in 28.7 minutes.
Even with his name consistently bandied about in trade scenarios, Westbrook has continued to play hard, missing just three games this season.
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Even with Westbrook and Ham reportedly getting into it at halftime, the story of the night was James’ record-setting achievement.
Entering the game, James needed 36 points to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar atop the NBA’s career points list.
Late in the third quarter, James knocked down a step-back jumper, passing Abdul-Jabbar. The game was paused for roughly 10 minutes for a brief ceremony on the court.
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“I didn’t set this as a goal, so that’s probably why it’s so surreal and so weird to me,” James said. “I never talked about being the all-time scorer in NBA history … until my numbers started getting closer and closer, and I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is crazy. This is weird, but I guess I’m doing it.’”
The loss was the second in a row for the Lakers, dropping them to 25-30 on the season.