LeBron James has better things to focus on than James Harden trade
LeBron James frequently expresses little to no interest in what’s going on with other teams, often stating he has enough to worry about with leading his own team.
So, it’s hardly a surprise that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar didn’t have much to say about Wednesday’s trade in which the Houston Rockets finally parted ways with a disgruntled James Harden in a blockbuster four-team deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
"Trades happen every year. For me, my focus is on what we do here." @KingJames reacts to the reported Harden trade and discusses the #Lakers staying locked in on the road trip. pic.twitter.com/wJlgvTUy8J— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) January 14, 2021
“Don’t really have too much of a reaction. Obviously trades and things happen every year,” James said after the Lakers blew out the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 128-99 victory. “For me, my main focus is on what we do here and how we continue to get better. That was the case today. The trades happened today, and I couldn’t allow myself to kinda indulge in that knowing that we had a team that we had to play tonight. So my focus today was on the Thunder.”
The throttling of the Thunder marked the Lakers’ seventh straight road win to start the 2020-21 campaign and the defending champions have won four straight overall to improve to an NBA-best 10-3. Keeping the Lakers on such a roll obviously is first and foremost in James’ mind, even if the Harden trade did shake up the Western Conference.
“It’s all about execution and your level of focus,” James said, per the New York Post. “You’ve got to be able to at times build up your own energy. Like tonight, we come off a back-to-back, three in four nights. For us to come off a back-to-back — in Houston last night, getting in late to OKC and coming out to an arena with no fans — you’ve got to prosper your own energy from your group, yourself.”
All that said, James and the Lakers did play a role in the Rockets finally cutting ties with Harden. The malcontent star disparaged the Rockets after back-to-back blowout losses to the Lakers this week, stating following Tuesday’s loss that Houston is “just not good enough” to compete with L.A.
The polarizing comments unsurprisingly were not well received by Harden’s teammates and were the proverbial last straw ahead of Wednesday’s franchise-altering trade.
Along with this week’s blowout wins and the Lakers’ elimination of the Rockets in the postseason last year, it’s safe to say that while James insists he could not care less about the Wednesday’s trade, he and the Lakers played a huge role in initiating Harden’s departure.