LeBron James' teammate slammed over 'petty' reaction to NBA record

Anthony Davis was notably muted while LeBron James' teammates celebrated his record-breaking NBA feat.

Anthony Davis is highlighted in a red circle sitting on the Lakers bench on the left, and alongside LeBron James on the right.
LeBron James' Lakers teammate Anthony Davis took a seat on the bench for the moment the NBA scoring record, leading to him being labelled 'petty' by critics. Pictures: Twitter/Getty Images

Not for the first time and certainly not the last, LeBron James was the centre of the NBA universe on Wednesday as he broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record. However while James was soaking up adulation from his home crowd, LA Lakers teammate Anthony Davis appeared positively disinterested.

It's been a tumultuous season for the Lakers, who remain buried towards the bottom of the Western Conference standings with a 25-30 record, despite James turning in another dominant season. Even as James surpassed Abdul-Jabbar's record, the Lakers eventually lost that game to the OKC Thunder, 133-130.

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Fans were focused on the countdown to James breaking the record, with the 20-year NBA veteran needing 36 points to break the record. He finished with a total of 39, breaking Abdul-Jabbar's previous high mark of 38,337 career points late in the third quarter.

As the home crowd and Lakers teammates erupted when he hit the shot, Davis walked to the bench and took a seat behind his teammates, who were all standing up in anticipation of the record being broken. His slightly sullen demeanour, both on and off the court in Wednesday's loss, did not go unnoticed by fans.

Lakers fans, in particular, were puzzled as to why Davis was seemingly uninterested in his star teammate's memorable accomplishment. With chemistry issues having plagues the Lakers for the last two seasons, former NBA star Jalen Rose said Davis had come off as 'petty' and 'jealous' over the fanfare.

“There’s no way on God’s green earth that you can be sitting down when the greatest record in the history of basketball is being broken,” Rose said on the ESPN broadcast..

“It comes off as petty, it comes as you’re hating, it comes off as that you’re jealous of the moment and when things like that happen, overarching, you feel like, can they continue to play together?”

Davis had a below average outing by his standards against the Thunder, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds, well down on his season averages of 27 and 12. He told James 'I love you bro' on the bench soon after the record mark was eclipsed, however fans on social media remained critical.

He later raised eyebrows again after the game when he declared James' scoring record was not an 'emotional' moment for the Lakers. Despite this, he praised James for his consistency and longevity in the NBA under perhaps the most scrutiny of any star since Michael Jordan.

“He’s played a big part in the team’s success, a big part in my success. A leader in all kinds of ways in all kinds of ways, all kind of facets on and off the floor," Davis said. “He’s a great human being, family guy, check all the boxes. Definitely well deserved.

“He’s put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this game and it was an honour to be able to witness it live.”

LeBron James hailed after breaking NBA all-time scoring record

After the contest, James was asked a couple of questions from fellow legendary Laker Shaquille O'Neal, with the last being about who he feels is the greatest player in the history of the league.

"I'm gonna let everybody else decide who that is, or talk about it, but it's great barbershop talk," James said, before O'Neal cut him off and demanded a straight answer. "Me personally, I'm going to take myself against anybody who has ever played this game," he said.

"But everyone is going to have their favourite, and everyone is going to decide who their favourite is, but I know what I've brought to the table, I know what I bring to the table every single night, and what I can do out on this floor.

"I always feel like I'm the best to ever play this game, but there's so many other great ones that I'm happy to just be a part of their journey."

Abdul-Jabbar rose from his seat and clapped when James made his record-breaking shot. The game was stopped as some members of James' family, including his wife, mother and his children, took the floor for a ceremony recognising the moment.

Abdul-Jabbar - one of many celebrities and sports stars who made sure they were there to see history - became the league's all-time leading scorer on April 5, 1984 and wound up retiring in 1989.

It was a record that some thought would last forever, with very few even coming close. Karl Malone retired 1,459 points behind Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant was 4,744 points shy and Michael Jordan was 6,095 points away.

with AAP

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