Kevin Durant Says Media Attention Makes Environment Around LeBron James 'Toxic'
Some NBA stars are seemingly reluctant to join forces with James in Los Angeles, according to Bleacher Report's discussions with several current NBA players.
Golden State small forward and nine-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant told B/R that he understands why certain star players might not want to play with the King. In addition to the fact that even the best have to become role players in James's shadow, Durant said the stardom that surrounds LeBron is "toxic."
"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 bulls--t 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."
The media attention around James isn't the only reason other NBA stars might be hesitant to join James in Los Angeles. Durant adds that it might also be because playing alongside the greatest, many would have to accept lesser roles and transform their game to fit around LeBron.
"It depends on what kind of player you are," Durant said. "If you're Kyle Korver, then it makes sense. Because Kyle Korver in Atlanta was the bulk of the offense, and he's not a No. 1 option at all, not even close. So his talents benefit more from a guy who can pass and penetrate and get him open.
"If you're a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn't really make sense," he added. "Kawhi enjoys having the ball in his hands, controlling the offense, dictating the tempo with his post-ups; it's how he plays the game. A lot of young players are developing that skill. They don't need another guy."
Durant cited Kevin Love and Chris Bosh as two instrumental player that had to adjust their own styles around James.