Luke Walton says LeBron James’ feat of eclipsing Michael Jordan’s NBA points-scoring tally despite being so unselfish “speaks to the greatness to his game”.
James became the fourth-highest scorer in NBA history during a 115-99 defeat for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
The four-time NBA All-Star bettered the legendary Jordan’s mark of 32,292 by pouring in 31 points in the Lakers’ loss at Staples Center.
Lakers head coach Walton saluted forward James on a special night for the 34-year-old.
“I think we should start off by giving credit to what LeBron did tonight individually,” said Walton. “Becoming the fourth all-time scorer, passing Michael Jordan. To me the most incredible thing about that is what an unselfish player that he is.
“For someone that is always looking to pass first, to score that many points in his career just speaks to the greatness to his game. It was pretty special and cool to be a part of it. Unfortunate that it came in a loss, but a pretty awesome moment.”
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The injury-hit Lakers have now lost six of their last seven games to almost certainly miss out on the playoffs and Walton said they may put priority on looking at the bigger picture.
“The goals could change. Right now, with our group when the season started our goals were ‘let’s get in these playoffs, let’s make some noise’.” he said. “But we rely on so many young players that player development was still something we needed to do this season heading into next season.
“We needed the growth from young players, so the amount and the priority might change as we go down this final stretch of the season, but for now we are trying to win.”