LeBron James is still widely considered by many as the best player in the NBA. Playing alongside LeBron brings a lot of pressure for his teammates as well because to be completely honest, LeBron has the ability to enable a team to compete for a championship. The spotlight has always been on LeBron and the team he plays for and it seems that won’t change until he ends his NBA career.
A lot of players are therefore reluctant to play with LeBron. Bleacher Report spoke with Kevin Durant about this issue and according to Durant he has understanding for that because of even some of the best players in the NBA get shadowed by LeBron.
“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.”
Durant also gave additional insight into the whole dynamics of what kind of role would certain players have if they want to play with LeBron. He thinks some players would need to transform themselves for their game to fit with LeBron’s style of game.
“It depends on what kind of player you are. 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.”
Chris Bosh and Kevin Lowe were in Durant’s opinion the two stars who had to change their game completely so they could fit into the system that was built around LeBron.