Following the Los Angeles Lakers 112-107 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, LeBron James was being universally lauded for becoming the first player to record a triple-double against every NBA team.
James accomplished the feat by notching 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. However, the number Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd had his eyes on was LeBron’s seven turnovers — his season-high.
“He said I was pretty bad tonight at first because of my seven turnovers and I agreed,” James told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “He’s the first person to come critique me after the game which I love and then he said congratulations with the feat I was able to do.”
Kidd — who put up a triple-double against 28 NBA teams — is likely one of the few people in the world who can deliver criticism of LeBron and have it land.
James said he didn’t really know about the record and had to let it sink in.
“I had no idea,” James said after the win that moved the Lakers to 12-2. “Coach [Frank] Vogel came in here and said congratulations. I was like, I thought he was joking about my seven turnovers because I’ve been taking care of the ball so much. He said first player in NBA history to have a triple-double versus 30 teams, every team, so I was like, ‘OK. That’s pretty cool.'”
LeBron is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds and a league-leading 11.1 assists per game.
“It’s unbelievable,” Vogel said. “He’ll say it’s because he’s been in the league for so long, but we all know that it’s because he’s remarkable. For him to be doing it for as long as he’s been doing it, that’s how you knock out all 30 teams with a stat like that. I don’t know if that will ever get accomplished again.”
Luka Doncic Leads NBA in Triple-Doubles This Season
Houston point guard Russell Westbrook has triple-doubles against 29 NBA teams — the lone one remaining being the Thunder, the team he spent the first 11 years of his career. When the squads faced off earlier this season, Westbrook came up one assists short. He had 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists against his former team.
Mavericks second-year guard Luka Doncic currently leads the NBA with six triple-double performances this season. He’s pulled it off in four of his last six games.
LeBron James Starts DPOY Campaign for Anthony Davis
After the game, James deflected some of the praise to teammate Anthony Davis, revving up the Defensive Player of the Year talks for his All-Star teammate.
“We know how great AD is defensively,” said James, according to Ben Golliver of The Washington Post. “He’s right there right now probably as the Defensive Player of the Year if you just look at the numbers and what he’s been able to do.”
When Davis made it clear when he came to the Lakers that one of his goals was to be the best defender in the league.
“I want to be Defensive Player of the Year,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “I think if I’m able to do that, I can help this team win. The offensive end will come around, but defensively, I want to hold myself, teammates, including LeBron [James], accountable in order for us to take on the challenge of being the best we can defensively. In doing so, we’ll have a good chance of winning every night. I want to make sure me and LeBron are on the All-Defensive Team. And for me personally, I just want to be the Defensive Player of the Year. If we’re able to hold teams under 100 [points], which is probably unrealistic but it should be our goal, I think we’ll have a shot at winning the title.”
Davis is averaging a career-best 3.1 blocks per game to go with 1.4 steals. He also is adding 25.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
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