LeBron James told Matthew Stafford he had to ‘put on a show’

LeBron James saw Matthew Stafford courtside and knew he had to do something.

Fifty-four points later, with the game still ongoing, he turned to the Rams quarterback to tell him so.

“I can’t have you in the building and not put on a show,” James said in a comment picked up by ESPN’s microphones.

LeBron James Matthew Stafford
Matthew Stafford (l.) and his wife Kelly (second from l.) react after LeBron James (r.) makes a shot on March 5, 2022.

Ultimately, James finished with 56 points, his highest-scoring game as a Laker, to hoist his team to a 14-point comeback and 124-116 win over the Warriors that snapped a four-game losing streak.

“Our guys were following me off the floor tonight going into the locker room and they asked me, ‘How does it feel to score 56?’ ” James told reporters. “I said, ‘Right now, I don’t give a damn about the 56. I’m just happy we got a win.’ That’s just literally the first thing that came to mind.”

The Lakers are still just 28-35, in ninth place hoping to climb out of a play-in spot in the West and missing Anthony Davis. But a feel-good win was badly needed after the Clippers blew them out on Thursday.

LeBron James Matthew Stafford
LeBron James (r.) shakes hands with Matthew Stafford (l.) after scoring 56 points for the Lakers on March 5, 2022.
NBAE via Getty Images
Matthew Stafford wife Kelly Stafford
Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly watching the Lakers defeat the Warriors on March 5, 2022.

James became the oldest player in NBA history to score more than 55 points with 10 rebounds and is one of just four players to have scored 50 or more in a game past age 37, per ESPN.

“You got to be able to adjust, man,” James said. “And if you cannot have a growth mindset on how you can find ways to get better with the team, then you’ll get left behind. I’m not saying I’ve changed my game in any way. I’ve always just wanted to have a game that fits any style of play or any era. I feel like my game would fit any era in basketball history from the time that the great James Naismith created it.”

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