LeBron James made history Tuesday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it reportedly wasn't the most harmonious night for the Los Angeles Lakers.
During halftime of what turned out to be a 133-130 loss, Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and head coach Darvin Ham had a brief, heated verbal exchange in the locker room, in which the coach expressed frustration with how Westbrook lingered on the court after being taken out in the second quarter, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
ESPN Sources: Lakers G Russell Westbrook and coach Darvin Ham had a brief, heated verbal exchange in the halftime locker room on Tuesday vs. OKC. Ham expressed frustration with how Westbrook lingered on the playing floor after getting subbed out of game late in second quarter.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2023
The two reportedly raised their voices but moved on quickly and dapped up before they left the arena.
The exchange occurred during an uncomfortable time for Westbrook on the Lakers, though that has basically been the case since he was traded to the team in 2021. The former MVP entered this season under a cloud of scrutiny and was pushed out of the starting lineup after last year's disastrous season, but he has since seemed to embrace a sixth-man role.
As the 25-30 Lakers continue to struggle, Westbrook is averaging 15.9 points, 7.5 assists and 6.2 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game off the bench. Those shiny numbers have him considered a Sixth Man of the Year candidate by some, but they aren't enough to stop the Lakers from seeking to trade him and his enormous salary.
The team tried to trade Westbrook and its remaining eligible draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets for Kyrie Irving, but the former James teammate instead ended up on the Dallas Mavericks.
Westbrook came up big Tuesday against his old team in the Thunder, posting 27 points and eight assists, with 14 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. However, more attention was paid to his teammate, as James broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA scoring record ... and the other member of the Lakers' big three, Anthony Davis, who raised the collective eyebrows of NBA Twitter when a video emerged of him barely reacting to James crossing the threshold.
James is the NBA's new all-time leading scorer, but between the Lakers' loss, Westbrook's reported argument and Davis' apparent apathy, the team has had more impressive nights.