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You’ve probably seen the clips by now, Lebron is standing around doing nothing on defense as the Lakers dropped 2 crucial games in their playoff race that they absolutely should have won.
But this is only 1 part of the problem and Kevin Durant knows the whole story.
Let me explain it to you.
Despite the horrible loss to a Pelicans team playing without Anthony Davis, playoff chances going down, and the overall bad energy that surrounds the entire Lakers locker room, James made sure to congratulate himself on cracking top 10 in both points and assists.
And while I would never question his greatness, he does make sure to take his time and point it out. To kinda make sure the spotlight is shining on him. Even at times where it realistically shouldn’t be about that at all. So here is the thing:
A while ago, KD was under fire for comments that he made about Lebron, and how players don’t want to play alongside him because it’s a toxic environment.
In today’s day and age where it’s all about the hype, the big headline- nobody even cares to read or listen to the whole story. And the message often gets lost.
What Durant was actually saying is that the media is constantly around James, and wherever he goes the entire media world is behind watching him, and inevitably the rest of the team itself as well. So there is always so much drama, hype and pressure around the team, and not every player likes that nor can handle it. As KD himself is saying- he just likes to play basketball, he doesn’t need or like all of the extra stuff. In fact he’s bothered by that.
And if a superstar of his caliber is bothered by it, just imagine how the young group of Lakers players are going through it, when they have all of these things hanging like a dark cloud above them.
1) Everyone expects them to make the playoffs by default. Well everyone except myself but that’s a whole different story.
2) They obviously know that they are expendable. Every one of them was offered to the Pelicans, and most likely a lot of them will end up being traded. So knowing that, how can you play with energy and passion?
And 3) The leader, the best player on the team, clearly, obviously doesn’t give his best effort at least lately, but at the end he blames them for the losses. Either on the court, with the eye rolls, and the horrible body language after a mistake which sometimes they make but sometimes it’s actually Lebron’s mistake. Or off the court with his recent postgame comments which are borderline disrespectful. Now this is exactly the type of environment that KD is referring to as toxic, and I absolutely agree.
What I’m not so sure about is the part where Durant says it’s not James’ fault. He actually embraces the attention, pats himself on the back publicly on instagram after almost every game. He even goes as far as calling himself the greatest player of all time. Causing another storm of debates even tho it’s been done a million times prior. Do you realize that the Nuggets are at the top of the West after missing the playoffs last year? That type of a turnaround with basically the same exact team is unheard of.
Yet you never see anything about them. Every story on news outlets like ESPN has been about Lebron and the Lakers. Stories, debates, predictions... it’s Lebron and the Lakers dominating the media.
There’s a video of Chris Bosh, TRYING to change the topic, after talking endlessly about James, he seems to have had enough and abruptly says Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP.
The panel briefly, for like 20 seconds talks about it before stopping equally as abrupt and getting back to their Lebron James news agenda.
The amount of attention that he gets is ridiculous and as a collateral damage his teammates are put under that spotlight, under pressure, and get all the blame whether it is or it isn’t their fault. And that’s absolutely crazy.
Anyway if for some reason you say- well you hate on others covering him, but you talk about him right now. I am actually discussing the issue, and if you look at my videos from the last 4 months, I’ll even include these 2 although if you’ve seen them, you know that he’s not the main topic of discussion. 4 videos in 4 months.
And here’s ESPN’s channel from just today. You all know that this is pretty much the story every single day. And it’s getting unbearable.
So yeah, at the end I just wanna separate his greatness, what he’s been able to achieve, and the media attention that he gets compared to other players in the league.