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Thomas Bryant explains how he became a meme on the night LeBron James broke the scoring record

One of the most historic recent moments in league history featured Thomas Bryant making himself a meme as LeBron James broke the scoring record with the Lakers this season.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

At times, it feels like years ago that LeBron James broke the all-time scoring record. The momentous night was spoiled ultimately by the Thunder coming away with the win, and the night marked one of the final times that Lakers roster was together.

Even the very moment that LeBron broke the scoring record became a bit of a meme itself. While LeBron put on a herculean performance that night to break the record, the final shot, hilariously, featured LeBron taking the fateful shot while a very...eager Thomas Bryant called for the ball under the basket.

From a purely basketball standpoint, it was the right play to make. But considering the moment, it quickly became a meme shared across social media. There wasn’t much time to ask Bryant about it afterward as, shortly thereafter, he requested a trade and was sent to the Nuggets.

This summer, though, Bryant was eventually asked about the moment while on Gilbert Arenas’ podcast and had a fairly understandable explanation of the situation.

“We went through that same play in practice and whenever LeBron sees me on that wing, he always tells me cut and if you have a smaller defender, post your a-- up in the paint, bruh. Get a big target. Get an easy point. It’s easier to score two points than a 3-pointer, that contested three.

Every time since it got to 12 points (until the record), I’m trying to look up like ‘Alright, we’ve got 10 points, 8, 6, oh shoot we’ve got a turnover alright get back on defense.’ All I’m doing is just everything they tell me to do. And then when he shot it, I’m like ‘Wait, everybody camera out. Oh shoot, that was the shot! Oh yeah!.’ So it was kind of a super surreal moment but at the same time, we was still trying to play to win the game and play the right way. But it was just like, I didn’t even really recognize it until it actually happened and I was like ‘Oh shoot, they got me on a meme now.’”

In fairness to Bryant, it was the right basketball play. He had Shai Gilgeous-Alexander buried deep in the post and in 95% of scenarios, he gets that pass and dunks home an easy two points. It just so happens the other 5% played out in that moment, and he walks away on the receiving end of some jokes.

But he’s taken the jokes in stride and, ultimately, he got the last laugh as he won a title and swept the Lakers in the process. And at the very least, he can always point to that ring and the infamous picture of LeBron’s’ record-breaking shot as moments in NBA history he was part of.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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