Los Angeles, December 6: Kevin Durant blamed the media for the "toxic" environment around LeBron James as the Golden State Warriors forward explained why he does not believe the Los Angeles Lakers will land another star to accompany the four-time NBA MVP.
After acquiring James in the off-season, the Lakers are reportedly planning to add a second star to pair with the three-time champion.
All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard – who will become free agents in 2019 – were linked with the Lakers before being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors respectively.
Durant will also enter free agency next year and the Warriors star has been tipped to join James in LA, however, 2014 MVP discussed the challenges of playing alongside James.
"So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people," Durant told the Bleacher Report in an interview published Wednesday.
"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*** 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."
Getting ‘em up early pic.twitter.com/B8HzOSDX8G— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 6, 2018
Durant explained that he understands why big stars have not signed with the Lakers and addressed some of the challenges connected to playing with James.
"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. 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 went on to say Cavaliers forward Kevin Love had to adapt his game as he played alongside James in Cleveland.
"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."