Paul Pierce ‘not buying’ Kevin Durant’s defense of his friendly relationship with LeBron James

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant recently fired back at a fan who criticized his friendship with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, with the Phoenix Suns superstar explaining that friends compete harder against each other.

However, Paul Pierce doesn’t seem to be on the same page as Durant.


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Paul Pierce, LeBron James and Kevin Durant

James may share rivalries on the court with Durant and other stars, but it’s common to see him maintain friendly relationships with many of them. Of course, some fans may not be too thrilled with the idea, especially those who watched the earlier generations of the NBA.

However, James seems to agree with Durant’s view based on a recent post to X (formerly Twitter), where he shared a photo of Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.

Interestingly, though, Jordan and Barkley aren’t on speaking terms nowadays after the hoopster-turned-analyst made negative comments about his estranged friend’s ownership of the Charlotte Hornets organization.

The hope is that the friendship between James and Durant won’t also eventually go that route, as the four-time champion has been vocal about his desire to own an NBA franchise once he’s done playing.

For now, the future Hall of Famers are good buddies, even after three instances of going at each other in the NBA Finals.

They faced off in the 2012 Finals when the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to give James his first ring.

Then, they duked it out in the 2017 and 2018 Finals, when James was with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Durant was playing with the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately for “King James,” his squad lost both times, managing to win just one game across those two championship series.

A case can be made that the two players could have met for a third consecutive time in 2019, but James left Cleveland in the 2018 offseason to join the Lakers. As for Durant, he would go on to help lead the Warriors to another Finals appearance before exiting the franchise to play for the Brooklyn Nets.

Some years later, the two-time champion is back in the Western Conference with the Suns. This season, he was finally able to square off with James in an NBA game after five years of the two superstars not meeting each other. The last time they had met on the court before this campaign was Christmas Day in 2018.

James has bested Durant twice already this season, as the Lakers beat the Suns near the start of the season and again on Friday.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.