Warriors

Warriors

LeBron James read Kevin Durant's "toxic" comments, and the Lakers star was not happy.

"I was a little pissed off when I first heard it, to be honest," LeBron told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "I didn't know where it stemmed from, so, I was pissed, my family was pissed, my friends were pissed. We just didn't know why, at this point in time in the season, my name or what I've done at this point in my career was talked about like that."

In early December, Bleacher Report published an article about why NBA stars don't want to play with LeBron. Durant mentioned the media attention that follows LeBron and was quoted as saying "I get why anyone wouldn't want to be in that environment because it's toxic. Especially when the attention is bullsh** 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."

As you might imagine, LeBron disagrees.

"I don't feel like it's ever been toxic around me," LeBron told Nichols. "When I hear toxic, I automatically think like, toxic means you don't ever want to be around that because it's almost like a fatal disease, you don't want to be around that."

But, according to LeBron, the two megastars are back on good terms.

 

"Got a phone call from KD, we talked about it," LeBron said. "He mentioned how he felt and how he felt the story took a twist. And as a man, I don't hold onto things too long. I'm too happy in life right now and I don't hold on to anything that would take away from my happiness.

Listen, he told me how he felt and he apologized on how it came out and I said 'Alright, we'll move on from there.'"

Nichols asked LeBron about trying to bring a second superstar to Los Angeles and the first-year Lakers forward made it clear he will recruit free agents.

"That's going to be my job as well," LeBron said. "I'm looking forward to when guys come up for free agency, I'll be at their doors, I'll be on their phones, seeing how we can continue to make this franchise become an elite franchise and get back to the mountain top again."

As for the theory that he has a hard time luring other superstars to play with him, LeBron took exception to that.

"I've always recruited. I've always recruited," LeBron said. "Is this something new? I've been trying to get guys to come play with me since 2007. I've gotten rejected a lot. But I've also not gotten rejected. Lot of people didn't want to come to Cleveland. Let me just throw that out there.

LeBron insinuated that it wasn't that players didn't want to play with him, but rather, other factors.

"I don't feel that was me. I tried to recruit so many guys to come to Cleveland and we actually had a couple guys ... " LeBron said before trailing off.

We're assuming LeBron is talking about the report that the Cavs were close to acquiring former Pacers forward Paul George in the summer of 2017. That trade fell through and Indiana dealt George to Oklahoma City instead.

LeBron and the Lakers are hoping that the allure of Los Angeles will be similar to the allure of playing in Miami.

"But it wasn't hard getting guys to Miami, I'll tell you that," LeBron said. "So, now I think that being in LA, I don't think it will be hard to get guys here. But we got to win and at the end of the day, it's all about winning. That's my job right now to show everybody that I can win with whatever."