At one point in a historic summer for the Los Angeles Lakers, rumors were swirling about a text supposedly sent from LeBron James to Kevin Durant. Said reports came from Stephen A. Smith, someone with whom Durant has quite the history.
Durant was asked about Smith’s report and, well, let’s just say he didn’t sound too worried about making an enemy out of the ESPN personality. (via Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group)
First, the rumors. Warriors forward Kevin Durant strongly disputed the accuracy of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reporting on “First Take” that LeBron James texted Durant about joining the Lakers before free agency. Did James do that? Durant: “Hell no.”
“That was all false. All false. 100 percent false,” Durant told Bay Area News Group. “He didn’t talk about none of that stuff.”
Doesn’t Durant seem like the kind of guy who would smudge the truth a little bit just to prove a point with someone he has a history with as he does with Smith simply out of spite though? This isn’t to call him a liar or anything like that. I have no idea whether James sent a text to Durant. If I had to guess, I’d probably say James back-channeled a feeler as to how Durant might think about the possibility, but it would be only that — a guess.
I’ll put it this way: James would be remiss not to try to find out what the chances might be that Durant might be open to teaming up on the Lakers. Given the way the NBA operates now, it’s just really hard to believe no communication occurred.
Durant is heading into interesting territory. He’s obviously not going to find a better basketball situation than he currently has with the Golden State Warriors. He’s also never going to be accepted be NBA fans at-large, and maybe not even the Warriors fan base, the way he seems to want to be. So his choice is between staying there and placing a ceiling on his legacy or leaving for a lesser situation in the hopes of proving he can have similar success in anything other than the perfect spot.
We’ll see how that dynamic comes to pass. It’s probably the most impactful decision that can be made this summer, as it would have a ripple effect throughout the NBA. If he hasn’t already, LeBron should fire off more than a couple texts.