LeBron James is not going to feed into the negativity without knowing the full story.
Following the Los Angeles Lakers‘ dramatic 121-113 win over the San Antonio Spurs, the focus immediately shifted from LeBron’s 41-point night into questions from NBA legends Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Kevin Durant. The past several days have featured criticism from the aforementioned three players aimed at LeBron.
However, the, who argued that playing in the same environment as the four-time MVP is “toxic,” both on and off the court. He went into full detail on why that’s the case, saying that LeBron has a bunch of “fanboys” following him and that it’s difficult adapting your play style to the three-time NBA champion.
Instead of taking shots at Durant or even responding to his rival’s claims, James took the high road, instead opting to know the full context of his quotes before giving an answer.
Via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“I would love to see the whole transcript of what was asked of him, the context it was asked of him, why it was asked and the whole thing,” James said. “So I’m not gonna comment on it because I don’t know the whole thing. That would be stupid on my part. I’m a veteran.”
“Kevin Love, he had to totally change his game to fit, to be a shooter,” Durant said. “Which, I think, he deserves way more credit for switching his game. Bosh, same way. LeBron is a player that needs to play with guys that already know how they play the game—and shooters. Like, young players that are still developing, it’s always going to be hard because he demands the ball so much, he demands control of the offense and he creates for everybody.”
And let us not forget the stinging criticism of LeBron’s “fanboys.”
“So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people,” Durant said. “He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I’m like, we’re playing basketball here, and it’s not even about basketball at certain points. So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic. Especially when the attention is bullshit attention, fluff. It’s not LeBron’s fault at all; it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball.”
Simply put, there is nothing to gain from LeBron responding to Durant’s criticism. The Lakers are finally in a groove for the first time this season, having won 11 of their past 14 games. Had LeBron gone the route of responding to Durant’s verbal jabs of him, there would have been further distraction and an even bigger media cloud surrounding the team. That is the last thing the franchise needs at this point.
Considering James and the Lakers, back in action when they visit the Spurs on Friday night (8:30 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), are focused on improving their current team, I doubt LeBron will ever fully acknowledge Durant’s criticism of him.
There’s just no point in doing so.
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