NBA News: Kevin Durant Shoots Down Notion That LeBron James Controls the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James
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Sports
Bob Garcia IV

After another disappointing campaign falling well short of championship contention, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to experience a significant roster overhaul.

Much of the outside noise concerns LeBron James' influence over the team's overall construction. All that has led to Kevin Durant swiftly shutting down the LeGM talk.

Lakers Miss the Playoffs

Lakers forward LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony jog down the court.
Wikimedia | Doppelganger.decoy

After a busy offseason headlined by acquiring Russell Westbrook, the Lakers hoped to return to championship contention.

However, the 2021-22 campaign became marred by injuries leading to a lack of roster cohesion. James and Anthony Davis missed significant playing, which didn't allow the team to build the proper chemistry for their star trio to excel together.

As the Lakers head toward another busy summer, another star player firmly shot down the LeGM perception.

Kevin Durant Doesn't Believe LeBron James Runs the Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James
Wikimedia | Doppelganger.decoy

Over the years, James has dealt with the lingering notion that he has been the pseudo general manager role for his teams.

That belief has cropped up again after the Lakers failed to make the playoffs for the second time in the four-time league MVP's tenure. During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill, Kevin Durant shot down that perception around James.

“I feel like that’s a narrative that [media created]. I don’t even think LeBron does that,” Durant told Yahoo! Sports. “He might have input or know some information. But him saying [pointing left], ‘This is who you should get.’ [Points right.] ‘That’s who you should get,’ I don’t think it works like that."

“I’ve been around Steph [Curry], he doesn’t work like that. Let people do their jobs. It’s not on me to overstep what they do. I’m just here to support. If they need me to text or call somebody that may come, of course.”

James certainly does have pull within the Lakers' organization, but to say he has the final say isn't the case. He has plenty of influence over the team's decision-making due to the roster being built around him.

Nonetheless, Durant's comment shows that not all his peers believe that notion.

Lakers Are Headed Toward Crucial Offseason

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

The LeGM noise aside, the Lakers are moving toward a crucial offseason.

The expectation is that the team will undergo significant roster reconstruction around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Although Westbrook holds the final say on his roughly $47.1 million player option for next season, the team will likely look to move him if he exercises it.

The trade market for the star point guard's services remains uncertain, but it's in the franchise's best interest to garner financial flexibility to better construct the roster. The bottom line is that the Lakers want to avoid wasting another year of James' remaining career.

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