LeBron 'couldn't care less' about personal narrative as Lakers win
LeBron James insisted talk off the floor this week had no impact on his match-winning display for the Los Angeles Lakers against the San Antonio Spurs.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers great has been the subject of much conversation, with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson suggesting there might be an over-reliance on James, while Kobe Bryant said it was important he was not "doing everything".
Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors star, meanwhile claimed the attention on James would make it difficult for another elite player to join Los Angeles.
But the four-time NBA MVP showed no sign of distraction as he scored 42 points in the 121-113 win over the Spurs, helping to overturn an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit, before telling reporters his performance had nothing to do with silencing critics.
"I'm past the personal stage," James said. "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 important is seeing my team-mates make huge shots in the fourth quarter. J Hart [Josh Hart] was out of rhythm because of fouls all game, but he makes two huge threes in the fourth quarter; Zo [Lonzo Ball] makes a huge three on the left wing; Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] makes plays down the stretch as well.
"That's what's important to me. I couldn't care less about the narrative. That doesn't matter. I'm a staple in this game, so it doesn't matter."
On his clutch effort for the 15-9 Lakers, James said: "We were down eight and [the Spurs] have had our number up until this point. They beat us in our first two games, beat us on our home floor. We've been playing so well at home, so we wanted to try to continue that.
"Once I got in, it was just a matter of me trying to make plays and seeing what happened."