Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis revealed why he took a seat on the team’s bench as his fellow players watched LeBron James make a step-back shot to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA all-time scoring record on Tuesday.
James hit the record-breaking shot in the third quarter of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Davis, in a viral clip of the Lakers’ reaction to the shot, remained seated as his teammates stood to celebrate the historic milestone.
Davis, who faced criticism for his reaction during the Lakers’ losing effort, told reporters on Thursday that his behavior was due to the team’s performance.
The Thunder beat the Lakers 133-130 on Tuesday.
“It’s about the game, I mean, we’re losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, a game we needed,” Davis said.
“And I was pissed off that we were losing. It’s that simple. It’s nothing that has to do with Bron. He knows that. Everybody else is outside looking in, it’s their opinion. But I was pissed off that we were losing the game.”
Davis added that he went to the tunnel to “let off some steam and was unaware” of the record-breaking moment on the horizon when he returned to the bench, according to ESPN.
Davis said he has apologized to James in the days since the game, and James understood Davis getting “caught up in the heat of competition.”
James appeared to have no hard feelings toward Davis during the game, as revealed in a clip from TNT’s broadcast.
“I love you,” James told Davis as the two sat on the Lakers’ bench.
“I just want you to know I love you, bro,” James added, “that’s all I want you to know.”