Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is very close to breaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record, and he could very well set the new record on Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, it seems like Thunder youngster Josh Giddey isn’t so sure that it’ll happen against Oklahoma City.
When asked about LeBron potentially breaking the all-time scoring record against them, Josh Giddey said it’ll be a special moment but doesn’t think it’s a guarantee it’ll happen against OKC:
“We’ve got one of the best defenders in the league that’ll do a good job on that.”
— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) February 5, 2023
James is just 36 points away from setting the record. He’s scored 36 or more points in a total of 197 regular season games throughout his lengthy and storied career.
While the Thunder do have some solid defenders, they allow their opponents to score 115.9 points per game. Furthermore, on Tuesday night, they will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. They might be a little more tired than usual, so that could give James and the Lakers an edge.
During his time in the league, James has recorded 28.1 points per game against the Thunder, who were known as the Seattle SuperSonics for a while before relocating and rebranding.
Although James will surely be happy to once again etch his name into the history books, he is undoubtedly more focused on helping the Lakers climb the Western Conference standings.
They currently sit in 13th place in the West with a 25-29 record. They are two games back of the conference’s final play-in tournament spot and three games back of the conference’s final guaranteed playoff spot.
The Lakers continue to be inconsistent and just can’t seem to get out of their own way. It seems like some more trades need to happen if they truly want to be contenders once again.
Kyrie Irving was recently on the market after requesting a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, and the Lakers were naturally linked to the polarizing point guard.
Despite making an offer for Irving, the Lakers were unable to acquire him, as the Nets dealt him to the Dallas Mavericks. It seems like Nets owner Joe Tsai’s objective was to send him anywhere but the Lakers.
L.A. reportedly also had “serious concerns” about Irving’s professionalism and availability, and it will now have to look elsewhere for upgrades before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, something it is apparently optimistic about.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha recently mentioned that the Lakers’ “plan B” options are the Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz. Buha also identified the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls as teams to watch.
With the clock ticking faster and faster, it’ll be interesting to see if Rob Pelinka and company pull off something spectacular.