LOS ANGELES — LeBron James vowed on Wednesday evening to hunt extra details about the controversial feedback made by Kevin Durant claiming the atmosphere surrounding James with the Los Angeles Lakers is “poisonous.”

James insisted he had not learn excerpts from a Bleacher Report article wherein Durant indicated that potential free brokers could draw back from the Lakers because of the incessant consideration and focus upon its greatest star. Durant additionally commented that James is handled softly by “fanboys” within the media who “fawn” over him.

“I didn’t,” James mentioned when requested by USA TODAY Sports activities if he had seen the story and the “poisonous” remark. “I imagine that is in all probability not the entire quote so I’m not going to touch upon that.

“I’ll like to see the entire transcript of what was requested of him, the context of what was requested, why it was requested, and the entire thing. I’m not going to touch upon it. I don’t know the entire thing — that will be silly on my half. I’m a veteran.”

James additionally mentioned that he had not heard from the Golden State Warriors ahead on Wednesday, both for functions of clarifying his quotes or for some other purpose.

“No,” James added. “I’ve been sleeping.”

Launched hours earlier than James scored 42 factors within the Lakers’ 121-113 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Heart, it didn’t take lengthy for Durant’s phrases to bounce across the NBA world, accumulating remark and conjecture at each step.

Provided that Durant’s remarks contained two magic components — controversy and James — they have been additionally going to create a stir, and possibly that was the purpose.

However was he incorrect?

“He has so many fanboys within the media,” Durant mentioned in an interview with Ric Bucher. “Even the beat writers simply fawn over him. I get why anybody wouldn’t need to be in that atmosphere as a result of it’s poisonous.”

Let’s take the final bit first. Being a part of a crew that’s consistently surrounded and scrutinized in all probability isn’t that a lot enjoyable. But if issues have been so poisonous in James’ circle, would he have made eight straight NBA Finals? And would the Lakers, quick on expertise and never precisely overflowing with expertise, be 15-9 with 13 wins of their final 17 outings?

Durant’s phrases give a reasonably robust indicator of the place his ideas stand as free company looms, however that doesn’t imply Klay Thompson or Anthony Davis or some other celebrity feels the identical. Kawhi Leonard seems pleased with the Toronto Raptors, however whereas some stars could have reservations about entering into James’ shadow, others will see it as the perfect path to contending for a title.

Regardless of how a lot he will get fawned over, and no matter Durant’s definition of poisonous.

As for the media remark, which, make no mistake, Durant meant as a criticism of the press and never James, it will get a bit trickier. For functions of clarification, I’m not a Lakers beat author — I cowl the league normally, focusing largely on the Western Convention.

Beat writers don’t have it straightforward. Reporting on one crew day-in, day-out is a grueling job. Does the chance of alienating a crew’s greatest star present a deterrent for beat writers to be overly crucial? Probably, but when that’s certainly the case with the Lakers then it actually wouldn’t be the one place the place it applies.

To be honest, Durant has loads of admirers among the many press corps too and doesn’t precisely get harangued by those that cowl the Warriors beat within the Bay Space.

A number of the different issues Durant mentioned made loads of sense.

• “A lot hype comes from being round LeBron from different folks.”

No argument there. That’s the character of being on a crew with essentially the most well-known participant on this planet.

• “It relies upon what sort of participant you’re. In the event you’re Kyle Korver, then it is sensible. In the event you’re a youthful participant like a Kawhi, making an attempt to pair him with LeBron James doesn’t actually make sense.”

This has advantage, too. It’s human nature {that a} strong veteran like Korver may even see extra worth in serving to James to a possible championship than a youthful celebrity who may need to forge his personal legacy.

• “It’s not LeBron’s fault in any respect, it’s simply the actual fact you have got so many groupies within the media that love to hold on each phrase. Simply get out of the way in which and allow us to play basketball.”

Okay, now wait a minute. You don’t imply that, KD, absolutely not? Not if you end up the man who coughs and splutters at any perceived slight on Twitter, probably from a faux account used to defend your self from criticism.

Simply play basketball? Like while you stared down Rihanna as she sat courtside in the course of the Finals two years in the past, since you didn’t like that she was cheering for some man on the opposite crew. Some man referred to as LeBron.

You just like the drama, dude. And that’s fantastic. If we’re being trustworthy, so can we.

Comply with Martin Rogers on Twitter @RogersJourno.


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