James, who has the most turnovers in NBA history with 4,999, will soon become the first player to ever hit the 5,000 mark.
But Jefferson doesn’t think the benchmark needs to get attention — for the “same reason people don’t talk about Kobe [Bryant] missing more shots than anyone in NBA history.”
Same reason people don’t talk about Kobe missing more shots than anyone in NBA history. If you focus on that part then you aren’t a basketball mind. IMO 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/15QLeuF5kb
— Richard Jefferson (@Rjeff24) November 10, 2023
While it’s true that James will soon become the first player in NBA history to reach 5,000 turnovers, the story of that statistic can’t be told without some key context.
For example, the veteran is in his 21st season and has appeared in 1,429 regular season games, giving him more time to accumulate turnovers than most other players in NBA history. Moreover, as a ball-dominant player, James plays a role that is more prone to turnovers by nature. He has one of the highest usage rates in NBA history at 31.6 percent.
When it comes to Bryant, he certainly wasn’t the most efficient player during his NBA career, but he was still one of the league’s best scorers. He won two scoring titles and averaged an unforgettable 35.4 points per game during the 2005-06 season.
Some folks do sometimes use Bryant’s efficiency (or lack thereof) in arguments against him, but many respond by pointing to his willingness to take (and often make) difficult shots. He’s widely regarded as one of the best scorers in the history of the league.
James will likely hit 5,000 career turnovers on Friday when his Lakers face the Phoenix Suns on the road. The milestone may get a little bit of attention on social media, but it’s unlikely to turn into a major story.
The future Hall of Famer is presumably more focused on helping his squad get its season on track after a 3-5 start. The Lakers have lost three games in a row and are looking to regain the type of success they enjoyed in last season’s playoffs when they made a run all the way to the Western Conference Finals.