LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis stated that his body language during the lakers‘ 133-130 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday had everything to do with his team’s struggles and nothing to do with it Lebron James‘Record night.
“It’s about the game,” Davis said after scoring 23 points and 16 rebounds in the Lakers’ 115-106 loss to the Lakers Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. “I mean we’re losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a game that we needed. And I was mad that we lost. It’s as simple as that. It has nothing to do with Bron. He knows that. Everyone else is out. It’s their opinion. But I was angry that we lost the game.
In multiple cellphone videos from fans in the stands Tuesday night, Davis can be seen on the bench while the rest of his teammates stood late in Tuesday’s third quarter when James made a fading midrange jump shot to pass Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
In a still image taken from the bench shortly after James took the shot and celebrated with his hands raised, several Lakers players can be seen smiling and clapping while Davis sits on the bench with an unhappy expression on his face.
Davis explained that he had just returned to the bench from a trip to the tunnel to blow off some steam, little realizing his timing coincided with James making history at the moment.
Davis called James the next day to apologize and then again in person at the Crypto.com Arena as the team did their walkthrough before the Bucks game.
Davis said that on both occasions James dismissed his concerns, assuring him that he understood Davis simply got caught up in the heat of the competition.
James’ reaction mirrored an exchange he had with Davis during the game, which was picked up by the TNT broadcast.
“I love you,” James said to Davis. “I’m just letting you know that I love you, brother. That’s all I want to tell you.”
Davis told reporters he felt bad because the way his body language was interpreted detracted from James’ celebration.
Still, the celebration for James continued Thursday night with an on-court ceremony with the former Laker James Worthy serves as the emcee before the tip against the Bucks.
Flanked by his mother Gloria; woman, savanna; and three children, Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri, James spoke about how his bond with the LA fan base has grown in the five years since he joined the team in 2018.
“You’ve become family to me over the last five years,” James said, addressing the crowd over the PA system. “So thank you to the Laker faithful. You are incredible. And every night when I step on the floor I understand and I really have a great responsibility and I understand what it means to represent that Los Angeles Lakers when I step on this ground. So thank you. Thanks very much.”
Abdul-Jabbar was back on Thursday and said during a pre-game press conference he was looking forward to developing a relationship with James. He commended James for his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio and also for his excellence on the court.
“I think the different eras of the game, the addition of the clock and finally the 3-point shot, the game had eras. And LeBron is without a doubt the greatest player of his time,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “That era is right behind Shaquille’s [O’Neal] and Michael Jordan.
“There are people who dominate the game and there are people who capture everyone’s imagination. I think that’s one thing that Michael Jordan did. Everyone wanted to be him, to do what he did. I think the reason they have sports bars with all these TVs is so people can go in there and argue like that. Because we won’t find out.”