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Los Angeles (AFP) - AFP looks at trends and topics in the National Basketball Association over the week ending November 29:
- 76ers race to bottom... -
The Philadelphia 76ers have secured their own piece of unwanted history with a record losing streak that is the worst in NBA history. Adding insult to injury, they are now officially the worst team in the history of major professional sport in the United States.
Their 28th consecutive defeat on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies is the longest skid by a team in the four major American sports -- basketball, football, hockey and baseball.
Another benchmark awaits them on Tuesday night. A further defeat against the Los Angeles Lakers will take them to 0-19 for the season, giving them sole possession of the record for the worst start to an NBA season in history.
- ... as Okafor races into trouble -
One bright spark amid the 76ers gloom has been the form of rookie center Jahlil Okafor, who has averaged 17.5 points per game so far this season and a further 8.2 rebounds per game.
Yet the 6ft 11in No.3 overall draft pick is rapidly finding himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons which have included a fistfight -- caught on video -- outside a nightclub that left a man knocked to the ground.
It later emerged Okafor had been involved in a second incident at a nightclub in Philadelphia in October which involved a gun being pointed pointed at the 19-year-old's head.
On Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Okafor had been stopped by police on the Ben Franklin Bridge connecting Philadelphia with Camden, New Jersey speeding at 108mph -- almost three times the speed limit.
- Kobe kept Jordan in loop -
The years-long guessing game over Kobe Bryant's future drew to an abrupt end over the weekend when the Los Angeles Lakers icon finally called time on his career, announcing he would not play on after this season.
But while the question of when Bryant would hang it up had swirled for eons, the player himself revealed he had decided over the summer that it was time -- and Michael Jordan was one of the first to be informed.
"He is actually one of the first people that I told," Bryant said. "We had some laughs, went back and forth about it. But the important thing for him, he said, 'Just enjoy it. No matter what, just enjoy it. Don't let anybody take that away from you, no matter what happens, good or bad. Enjoy it, man.'"
- Kevin Durant-ing about Kobe -
While an avalanche of accolades and goodwill accompanied Kobe Bryant's retirement announcement on Sunday, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant took the news to vent at the media who had charted the Lakers' superstar's declining form this season.
"I've been disappointed this year because you guys [the media] treated him like shit," Durant said Monday.
"He's a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he's playing, how bad he's shooting and it's time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like shit, and I didn't really like it. So hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year."
Durant's critique met with a predictable backlash on social media. But the 27-year-old was largely unrepentant.
"They say I don't get the media and how they work," Durant said. "Well, they never got players and how we work."