LeBron 'couldn't care less' about personal narrative as Lakers win

By Sports Desk December 06, 2018

LeBron James insisted talk off the floor this week had no impact on his match-winning display for the Los Angeles Lakers against the San Antonio Spurs.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers great has been the subject of much conversation, with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suggesting there might be an over-reliance on James, while Kobe Bryant said it was important he was not "doing everything".

Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors star, meanwhile claimed the attention on James would make it difficult for another elite player to join Los Angeles.

But the four-time NBA MVP showed no sign of distraction as he scored 42 points in the 121-113 win over the Spurs, helping to overturn an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit, before telling reporters his performance had nothing to do with silencing critics.

"I'm past the personal stage," James said. "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 important is seeing my team-mates make huge shots in the fourth quarter. J Hart [Josh Hart] was out of rhythm because of fouls all game, but he makes two huge threes in the fourth quarter; Zo [Lonzo Ball] makes a huge three on the left wing; Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] makes plays down the stretch as well.

"That's what's important to me. I couldn't care less about the narrative. That doesn't matter. I'm a staple in this game, so it doesn't matter."

On his clutch effort for the 15-9 Lakers, James said: "We were down eight and [the Spurs] have had our number up until this point. They beat us in our first two games, beat us on our home floor. We've been playing so well at home, so we wanted to try to continue that.

"Once I got in, it was just a matter of me trying to make plays and seeing what happened."

Related items

  • Riley on LeBron leaving Heat: I saw a dynasty fly out the window Riley on LeBron leaving Heat: I saw a dynasty fly out the window

    Pat Riley thinks the Miami Heat had a good chance to win more championships if LeBron James remained with the team.

    James left the Cavaliers to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami in July 2010. The trio made four NBA Finals appearances and won two titles together before James returned to Cleveland prior to the 2014-15 season.

    Riley, the long-time Heat president, reflected on James leaving the team during a recent interview with ESPN.

    "When LeBron made that call, I saw a dynasty fly out the window," Riley said. "I didn't blame him, but I knew that was a 10-year team. It was just a sad day for me and our franchise because I wanted that dynasty.

    "I wanted this city and this team to go 10 years and maybe be in the Finals eight times. I don't know how many championships we would have won. But, I don't have any rancor towards him, at all."

    James, a 15-time All-Star and four-time MVP, went on to make four more trips to the Finals and won another championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. He became a free agent this offseason and signed a four-year, $153.3million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The Heat have made two playoff appearances in the four seasons since James departed. They are in a virtual tie with the Detroit Pistons for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

  • Beal tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star break Beal tried recruiting players to Wizards during All-Star break

    Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal acted as a recruiter during the NBA All-Star weekend.

    The Wizards – who entered the break with a 24-34 record – traded Otto Porter Jr and Markieff Morris before the trade deadline.

    Washington trail the Detroit Pistons by three-and-a-half games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    Beal, who tallied 11 points on four-of-11 shooting in Team LeBron's 178-164 win over Team Giannis on Sunday, used the All-Star weekend in Charlotte to try and recruit new team-mates.

    "The recruiting process is really going alright. It's going alright. I'm trying," Beal said. "This is new for me. I'm definitely getting some ears and seeing what guys are looking for."

    Beal did not specify which players he spoke with but said he was asked multiple times "How is D.C.?"

    "I'm going to keep it in my piggy bank, in my back pocket," Beal said when asked which All-Stars he tried to recruit. "Hopefully we can do something."

    The two-time All-Star is averaging a career-high 25.1 points and 5.4 assists in 37.2 minutes per game this season. He is shooting 47.2 per cent from the field and 34.9 per cent from three-point range.

  • George Davis breaks down NBA All-Star game George Davis breaks down NBA All-Star game

    LeBron James was trading lob passes with Dwyane Wade again, one last time. Lobs from Kyrie Irving once again, too. And after making a stepback 3-pointer late, he stared down Joel Embiid to send a message without saying a word. 

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.