Report: LeBron James texted Kevin Durant about teaming up on Lakers

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LeBron James appears to want to join the Lakers – but with another star.

The Lakers are trying to trade for Kawhi Leonard, but the Spurs aren’t rushing (though they’re finally moving toward a deal). Paul George could re-sign with the Thunder.

What about luring Kevin Durant from the Warriors?

Stephen A. Smith on ESPN:

LeBron James reached out to Kevin Durant via text, from what I’m told, about coming to Los Angeles. I don’t know what Kevin Durant’s response to him was. That is not the information that I got. But I will tell you what I did hear is that behind the scenes, Kevin Durant was like, “Why would I do that? You know what, as far as I’m concerned, LeBron James is a big-time player, what have you. But the way I look at it, I should be perceived as the best in the world. I’m the reigning two-time champion. I’m the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP. Why would I think about doing something like that?”

This was always a long shot. Durant has said for months he’ll stay with Golden State.

But it was worth trying.

Durant is better than George and Leonard (definitely considering Leonard’s health issues and maybe even ignoring those). Plus, nabbing Durant would weaken LeBron’s main competition.

There was even a pitch to be made:

But convincing Durant he and LeBron would truly partner is a tough sell. Durant is a regular basketball superstar. LeBron is a megastar unlike anyone we’ve ever seen. He’s not only a great player, but a publicity force who transcends sports.

Durant outplayed LeBron in the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant even talked about LeBron passing the torch to him.

But over a larger sample, including the 2018 playoffs, LeBron proved his on-court superiority. I think even Durant knows that.

Maybe Durant eventually leaves the Warriors. They certainly joked plenty about it. But I doubt he’s ready to embrace becoming even more of a villain by teaming up with LeBron in Los Angeles now.