Lakers' LeBron James on Criticism: 'I'm a Staple in This Game'
According to ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin, James shrugged off a question about recent criticism he has faced:
"I'm past the [taking things] personal stage. I can do whatever. I can have a huge workload, I can have a not-so-huge workload. ... It doesn't matter for me. What's most important is seeing my teammates make huge shots in the fourth quarter. ... That's what's most important to me. I can care less about the narrative about me. It doesn't matter. I'm a staple in this game."
LeBron enjoyed one of his best games of the season, finishing with 42 points, six assists and five rebounds. He also led L.A. back from a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter by scoring 14 points in a row.
"So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people. He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I'm like, we're playing basketball here, and it's not even about basketball at certain points.
"So I get why anyone wouldn't want to be in that environment because it's toxic. Especially when the attention is bullshit attention, fluff. It's not LeBron's fault at all; it's just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball."
Since LeBron wasn't entirely sure what was said on Durant's part, he declined to comment much.
By virtue of James' strong performance Wednesday, the Lakers have now won four games in a row and sit fifth in the Western Conference.
Given the fact that L.A. hasn't reached the playoffs since 2012-13, it's difficult to argue with the turnaround LeBron has orchestrated since his arrival in the offseason.