Kevin Durant fires back at claim that he and LeBron James are in the wrong by being too friendly as opponents

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, a fan took to X (formerly Twitter) and argued that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever in part because he had a mentality that players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant don’t.

Durant recently fired back at the claim that he and James are in the wrong by being too friendly as opponents.

Both James and Durant played at high levels in the In-Season Tournament matchup between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. James dropped 32 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes of playing time, while Durant ended up with 38 points, nine rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes.

James and the Lakers ended up winning the game 122-119 to grab their first road win of the season so far. Phoenix, meanwhile, saw its home record drop to 1-3 with the loss.

The 38-year-old may have been the Lakers’ top performer on Friday, but he was far from the only player on Los Angeles who played well. A majority of the team’s starting lineup put together solid performances, seeing as how four of the Lakers’ five starters racked up 17 points or more against Phoenix.

The Lakers were in a great rhythm on the offensive end of the floor against the Suns. They shot 50.0 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from outside the 3-point arc as a team. Plus, the squad converted 26 of its 34 attempts from the charity stripe, leveling out to a solid percentage of 76.5.

The one starter for Los Angeles who did not score at least 17 points was Taurean Prince. Prince finished with just seven points for the Lakers and shot 3-of-8 from the field (including 0-of-4 from behind the 3-point line), but he did have two blocks.

The Lakers’ next In-Season Tournament game is on the horizon. Los Angeles will play Desmond Bane, Marcus Smart and the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Nov. 14. But before then, they’ll host the Portland Trail Blazers.

James and the Lakers have yet to lose a game at home so far this season, considering they own a 3-0 home record.

Share This Article
Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.