Lakers' LeBron James on Criticism: 'I'm a Staple in This Game'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after his blocking foul during a 121-113 win over the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center on December 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made it clear following his team's 121-113 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night that outside chatter doesn't impact him.

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.

James was asked about comments Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant made in a Bleacher Report article by Ric Bucher, where KD said:

"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.

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