The Los Angeles Lakers have been a force lately as they have managed to win their last four games following a dispiriting loss to the Denver Nuggets.
In their recent win against the San Antonio Spurs, LeBron James scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter to complete an undefeated homestand.
While the Lakers are racking up wins, the talk around Los Angeles still revolves around 2019 free agency. The Lakers have enough cap space to add another All-Star caliber player and are poised to be major players once free agency hits.
However, players seem hesitant to join James in Los Angeles and Kevin Durant seems to understand why, according to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:
“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.”
Durant’s words hold some truth as past teammates of James have taken the fall for any struggles or losses while he tends to receive the credit after wins. That is hard for any player to reconcile, let alone a fellow superstar.
However, Pau Gasol was quick to retort there is no greater accomplishment than winning a championship in Los Angeles and players are adorned forever by the purple and gold fan base. That is at least something to consider when thinking of teaming up with James.
Durant himself is reportedly one of the team’s primary targets, so it is interesting to hear him comment on the situation. Regardless, the Lakers still need to focus on the 2018-19 NBA season at hand rather than who may or may not be donning the purple and gold next.