LeBron makes rare concession about Nuggets in latest quote

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

After the Nuggets defeated the Lakers for the eighth straight time on Saturday night, the vibes were bittersweet for LeBron James. On the one hand, he had just become the first player in NBA history to surpass 40,000 career points. That’s an incredible feat, that may never be seen again.

That record is a testament to both LeBron’s dominance and longevity as he’s put up amazing numbers for over 20 seasons without falling off - almost at all. It’s beyond impressive, and worthy of celebration. Reporters were rightfully asking James about the accomplishment after the game in his press conference.

James was clearly reflective and was able to enjoy the moment, especially being able to celebrate it with his family. But he was also asked about the Nuggets, and losing to that team yet again.

When talking about the actual game, LeBron sounded frustrated and almost defeated, saying about the Nuggets: 

"“They have our number”."

LeBron James

James was also reflective when asked about Nikola Jokic and if there is any way to slow him down, to which he replied:

"“Nah, there is none”."

LeBron James

It was interesting to hear LeBron sound almost vulnerable as he talked about the Nuggets and their superstar. It only adds to the frustration that this time felt different. The Nuggets were without one of their best perimeter defenders, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

The Lakers led most of the way and held a lead all the way until just over three minutes to go. At that point, the Nuggets upped their game to another level and blitzed the Lakers, pulling away to win by 10 points.

The Nuggets are currently 42-19 and tied for second place in the Western Conference, just a half-game back of the one seed. The Lakers are now 34-29 and sitting in ninth place, two games back of the six seed, and a half-game up on the ten seed.

That means there is a good chance the Lakers will have to battle their way through the play-in tournament for a second straight season. If they pull through that they’d earn the seven or eight seed in the West.

In other words, the Nuggets and Lakers may be headed for a first-round clash in the 2024 playoffs. The Lakers may do all this work down the stretch just to sneak into the playoffs and wind up facing the one team that has their number.