In his recent piece for Bleacher Report, NBA writer Rich Bucher lays out how star players in the NBA are reticent to join LeBron James in free-agency in order to pursue championships.
Bucher’s piece centered around a conversation with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant, who has been oft-mentioned as a prime candidate to leave the Bay Area and join LeBron in Los Angeles next season. Durant poured some cold water on that narrative with a quote that said “So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people…So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic.”
Bucher talked to many other players who both have played with LeBron and against him for their thoughts. Included in the piece was a reporting nugget that reinforced previous rumors that LeBron James has wanted to partner on a super team with Trail Blazers All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard.
“League sources say that when James became convinced Irving couldn’t be persuaded to stay in Cleveland, he suggested to the Cavs front office that it deal Irving to the Blazers for All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. The Cavs never called the Blazers, but James’ interest has led to speculation about the Lakers trading for Lillard.”
Lillard’s response via B/R:
“I love where I am,” Lillard said. “I play for a great organization. I’m not looking for nothing. I think we’d complement each other well, but the only way that ever happens is if my team decides they don’t want me no more. I’m trying to build something here.”
The idea of James and Lillard coming together on the same team isn’t new. But it always is refreshing and assuring to hear Dame reinforce his commitment to Rip City. Hopefully the reciprocal commitment is similarly strong.
The Trail Blazers (13-11) host the Phoenix Suns (4-20) on Thursday night at Moda Center. Tune in after the game and every Blazers game for the Last Quarter w/ Peter Sampson for the latest on Rip City and the NBA.