Durant said that the overwhelming media attention James garners can create a disruptive atmosphere for other players.
Durant is in the final year of his contract at Golden State Warriors and is expected to leave at the end of the season, with James’ Los Angeles Lakers one of the rumoured suitors.
That seems unlikely now, however, after Durant’s comments, which featured in Bleacher Report.
“LeBron is a player that needs to play with guys that already know how they play the game—and shooters,” the Warriors guard said.
“Like, young players that are still developing, it’s always going to be hard because he demands the ball so much, he demands control of the offence and he creates for everybody.
“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 bulls**t 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.”
Although clearly stating it’s not James’ “fault” that playing with him can become “toxic”, Durant’s words have taken in a bad light by some NBA analysts.
Martin, who once turned down a move to James’ former team Miami Heat, understands the 30-year-old’s outlook, however.
“Some people need to be around name guys, in order for them to be relevant,” Martin told The Herd.
“Some guys don’t need that, some guys look at all the media attention and hype as being negative.
“And that is what Kevin Durant speaks of. And him it probably would be that way – he’s had a great career without all of that.
“With basketball, everything you do: good, bad or indifferent, is put under a microscope.”