Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant likes – and respects – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, but he doesn’t want to play with him on the same NBA team, according to Mark Medina of the San Jose Mercury News.
“I am willing to make a bet on Kevin Durant. I don’t see him going to the Lakers whatsoever, and I think the reason with that has to do with LeBron James,” Medina said on a recent appearance on Yahoo Sports’ NBA podcast with Chris Mannix, via LeBron Wire. “Now, he holds LeBron James in very high regard. You know, they have a good relationship, but LeBron’s the guy that he wants to compete for with championships and legacy.”
There has been some speculation that Durant could join James and the Lakers in free agency down the line, but Medina just doesn’t see it happening.
“As much as he respects LeBron James, he’s his contemporary,” Medina said. “It’s not like Kevin Durant is this younger player. And I think, whether it’s coming from LeBron or just the national narrative, I don’t think he would take kindly to this whole idea that LeBron would this kind of mentor figure.”
Durant or not, LeBron sounds pretty excited about the Lakers team as currently constructed.
“I love the young guys that they have,” James said of the Lakers last month, via ESPN… “I believe Rob [Pelinka] and Magic [Johnson] and Jeanie [Buss] have done an unbelievable job of reshaping what the organization should be, keeping Dr. Buss’ dreams and what he was all about, to keep that going. I feel like they know what’s best for the team and I wanted to be a piece to continue that motion of being back to a championship franchise where they should be.”
James recently referred to joining the Lakers – and partnering with his childhood idol Magic Johnson – as “a dream come true.”
“This is kind of like a dream come true for me,” James said of joining the Lakers, via USA Today. “You know, growing up, I was a Cowboys fans, I was a Bulls fan, I was a Yankees fan, and I’ve always felt like that was one of the historic franchises. You look at the Lakers, and being able to play for a historic franchise, with so much history, you know?
“And now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of like looked up to when I was younger, you know, and wanted to make no-look passes like Magic, wanted to get on the break and be ‘Showtime’ like Magic, and then for it to all come to fruition at this point, I think timing is everything.”