Tony Dejak/Associated Press
“Hell no,” Durant said when asked if James did make a pitch, per Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group. “That was all false. All false. 100 percent false. He didn’t talk about none of that stuff.”
His comments come after ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported on First Take that James texted Durant with the idea of joining forces in Purple and Gold.
Durant’s future promises to be a major talking point during the season since he has a player option on his contract for the 2019-20 campaign, meaning he can hit free agency next summer and join James in Los Angeles or head to another team.
The idea of James and Durant playing with each other would be a terrifying proposition for opposing teams even if James wasn’t recruiting him during the offseason.
They’ve won the last three NBA Finals MVPs and have five league MVPs and 23 All-Star Game appearances between them. The pairing would bring enough length on the wing to swarm ball-handlers and shooters on the defensive end and create a pick-your-poison situation on offense. James requires additional attention when attacking the rim but could find the sharp-shooting Durant as a brilliant passer should double teams come.
Golden State’s 2018-19 regular season starts Oct. 16 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Durant rumors have already dominated headlines even beyond the potential pairing with James.
The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson told KNBR “Man, KD out. I feel like he is gone. … It does have that vibe, like, ‘This is it. This could be it right here.'” What’s more, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports appeared on FS1’s Undisputed and said the “New York Knicks have a very good shot at luring KD away from the Bay Area.”
Durant is a Warrior for now, and the team is primed to compete for a third straight championship with him playing alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and eventually DeMarcus Cousins.
That’s enough firepower to counter even James.