Kevin Durant: Media creates ‘toxic’ environment around LeBron James
Kevin Durant criticized the media in recent comments about how its fawning and the like has created a “toxic” environment around LeBron James.
The Los Angeles Lakers were expected to be an attractive free agency destination this coming offseason thanks to James’ presence. However, reports suggest some of the biggest NBA stars are somewhat reluctant to join the superstar in L.A.
Durant’s frank comments in a piece from Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher certainly make the case that the media has played a role in cultivating such an unattractive situation.
“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 bull—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.”
Durant of course has had his own issues with the media, so his comments in that regard could be at least somewhat inspired by his occasionally antagonistic view of reporters and the like.
Durant also went on to note how players are forced to adapt to playing with James, pointing out how Kevin Love and Chris Bosh as players who had to make sacrifices to make it work.
Further, Durant makes an observation that could be interpreted as a comment about James’ current role on a young Lakers team, saying that “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.”
Interestingly, Durant’s comments come amid concerns expressed by both Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson about the Lakers asking James to do too much with the Lakers. James, for what it’s worth, respectfully disagreed with the notion.