Community Shootaround: Free Agents Joining James

Will The King scare away other All-Stars?

Kevin Durant seemed to suggest that during a recent Bleacher Report interview. It’s been generally assumed the Lakers will sign at least one big-time free agent next summer to join forces with James.

Judging by his comments, Durant won’t be going to Los Angeles. And he’s skeptical that Kawhi Leonard, who has stated his preference for playing in the city, will want to be James’ sidekick.

“If you’re a younger player like a Kawhi, trying to pair him with LeBron James doesn’t really make sense,” Durant said. “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.”

Durant’s teammate Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler and Kemba Walker are some of the other prominent players headed to free agency. Durant doubts they’ll want to deal with the extra attention and pressure that comes with playing alongside James. Kyrie Irving, another big-name free agent after the season, was eager to get away from it in Cleveland.

Another issue is that James tends to get most or all of the credit when his teams win, while the supporting cast usually gets blamed when they lose.

“He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him,” Durant said. “So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic.”

That brings us to our question of the day: Do you think LeBron James’ imposing presence will scare away top-level free agents or will they be eager to join forces with him?

Please take to the comments to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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34 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Free Agents Joining James

  1. snotrocket

    KD nailed it when he said LeBron brings a cloud of toxic media with him. Not sure why anyone would want to join him.

    • Dennid

      I’m from Cleveland and a Cavs’ fan who will always appreciate LeBron being a huge part of bringing a championship to Cleveland but KD is right. No star would want to team with LeBron. Getting blamed when you don’t win and LeBron getting the credit for every win is spot on.

      • seth3120

        I see your point but don’t some guys like having a star around them to keep media attention off them? What do you think makes James different from others in that regard

        • Entertainers and athletes go to LA and NYC for fame and fortune that other cities don’t have (television).

  2. raisethejollyroger

    As a laker fan I wish he would blow his knee out! I can’t stand him! He’s a drama queen. His contract can’t be over soon enough.

    • reneaguerra

      Yeah a .625 winning % sucks. I’m with you, I’d rather have my favorite team win 30 games a year.

    • brian214

      I really hope the “blow his knee out” was a way for you to get attention. I would be curious, however, to know how many Lakers fans actually resent LBJ signing there. If there aren’t many now I wonder how many after some of these young guys are sent off in trades for vets trying to get the King another ring in the next 3-4 years.

  3. Reflect

    I can’t imagine the media and cloud over LeBron is any different than any other star. I remember Kobe getting the same constant attention. Same with Melo in New York.

    That just sounds like the normal superstar treatment to me.

    • No, it’s different with Lebron. Every great player whose ever played with him had to compromise their game big time just to fit in with his ball dominant ways, and then they’ll be blamed for not playing well when really they can’t even play the same way that made them a superstar in the first place. I doubt any stud would sign up for that. He’s obviously great and everything but he no doubt dominates everything about the teams he’s on.

      • Reflect

        You’re right, Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook are well known for their ability to play off the ball and get teammates involved. It’s really just LeBron with that problem.

        • Reflect

          And who could forget that famous quote by Carmelo Anthony where he said “damn man I don’t really want to have the ball at all. It’s all about my team.”

  4. kyleallen

    The best fit for the lakers with the impending free agents is klay thompson…Lonzo isn’t a great shooter and neither is Ingram and they will need that 3 point threat in Klay. If klay returns to GSW the second option should be Middleton

  5. bowserhound

    Shaq & Kobe worked well because they had 2 different styles. Today’s NBA is all one style, which LBJ plays.

    These young guys need to become that next superstar by playing alongside him instead of everyone worrying about who the Lakers need to get.

  6. chiefivey

    i feel like we’re downplaying the significance of bron being on the final chapter of his career. yes, hes still playing great now but will he still be the best player in the game in 2 years? his time in miami, and seeing d wade take a step back will influence how he finishes his career now. imo

  7. I agree with what KD is saying, but really what’s the upside in saying that. I think everyone already knows that any star that signs with them will have to compromise their game and do less. I just don’t understand why KD is even talking about it publicly.

    • x%sure

      That’s players on winning teams do, sacrifice FGAs for victories. Some players are known to specialize in getting big numbers on lousy teams. . . I don’t think the Lakers will miss that guy.

  8. bradthebluefish

    Didn’t know winning was toxic. LeBron James runs the offense and he does his best to give credit to everyone. It isn’t LeBron’s fault that the media fawns over him instead of the team.

    • But there is no doubt that any superstar that wants to play with Lebron will have to competed sacrifice their style, Ball handling, and overall impact to cede over to Bron. Then that player who won’t even have the ability to be nearly as aggressive and have to change their style will get blamed for being a lesser player, when it’s not really even their fault that’s just how it is to play with his ball dominant ways.

  9. x%sure

    HR just released their top FA list for anyone who wants to consider specific names instead of generalities.

    Durant discussed him and Leonard. Irving won’t join James. I don’t think any other FA cares about James enough to overcome more important factors: a best offer, a hometown, or a status quo. Marketing offers, glamour, and liklihood of winning already favor the Lakers.

    That puts Lebron, at best, as the 7th-ranking reason for player movement for the vast majority of FAs, if he is even a negative in the first place. Which I doubt.

    For Durant & Leonard, only the hometown factor favors moving, so their answer is already to stay, even before Lebron’s presence factors.

    • I guarantee you a LOT of super stars don’t want to sacrifice their game enough to blame with LeBron. Any star who plays with LBJ, will have much less of an impact on his team. It’s well known. Just look at past instances.

      • x%sure

        Wade. Irving averaged more shots with James than without. Pretty much all guards did fine.
        Only Love & Bosh suffered, if winning titles is suffering.
        YOU look at past instances. Be specific, name names.

  10. Funny part is KD was crying like a little kid in this interview if you really think about what he said. Whining about how the media treats LeBron compared to how he is constantly tagged for his fake twitter and running to GS because he could not beat them. And honestly I think this is KD way of trying to keep LeBron from overtaking the warriors. He knows next season warriors won’t be able to sign Klay. And if Lakers got Kwahi with LeBron and a few solid pieces around them, they can beat the warriors and Kd knows that. I think he is planning ahead hoping by taking these shots, guys will think second about signing with Lakers. Just my opinion

  11. No one wanted to play with Kobe, they had to trade for Gasol, he won the 2 rings there (not Kobe) but was constantly blamed when the team lost while Kobe would be shooting 30 or 40 times per game, that is a fact.

    Also for having to reduce roll, it happens to all the players when joining a team with other stars, but if you notice, Kyrie hasn’t been doing any more since he left Cleveland, actually his numbers are down… so playing with LBJ didn’t do too much damage to him, right?

  12. Guest617

    name a player that chased a ring with lebron to cleveland (twice) or los angelas – you. lebron’s insufferable person

  13. Dtownwarrior78

    I honestly think this is KD’s way of creating drama for the possible big dogs like Leonard and Klay, thereby making it easier on himself to join up with LBJ in LaLa Land next year. Durant needs to just close his lips and worry bout making stuff jive with his own squad. They are in trouble this year sure

  14. suburbanwarren

    LeBron is a money maker for any superstar! KD is playing a mind game. LeBron along with another superstar will destroy the warriors in 7! why? No team can run with the young talented lakers! 2015 LeBron carried the Warriors to 6. Without Kyrie and Love. 2016 was able to come back down 3-1. Beat Golden State 73-9 team. 2017 KD made the difference in 5 games! 2018 misfits and castoffs Cav could have won one games if JR was thinking! I would not be surprise if the lakers win it all in 2019! The warriors needed 5 super stars to beat one LeBron team! Did it make sense to leave OK and join a pie train with 4 superstars Kevin Durant?

  15. x%sure

    All the guards who have played with Lebron have done fine individually, at least equal to their levels, in his first 3 stints at least (juy still out on the Laker stint).
    The ‘other’ forwards besides him have not, which Durant, Leonard and George have apparently noticed.

    It wasn’t the ‘2nd star’ (all lead guards) whose game suffered, it was the ‘3rd star’ (all PFs). Ingram is continuing that, though James may be the PF now.

    Lakers should forget KD & KL, who are not likely to move anyway, and go for Bledsoe & a nice selection of centers. . . Vucevic, MGasol, Randle, Cousins, Porzingus, either Lopez, Cauleystein.
    If the 6ers don’t go farther this year than last, they may be willing to be outbid for Butler. Butler won’t be afraid of James.

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