Kevin Durant, LeBron James
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Since the LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, plenty of focus has gone to which All-Star would follow suit and work to lead the franchise back to its championship glory. With 2019 free agency expected to be a loaded class, Kevin Durant has often been mentioned as a candidate.

Not necessarily because Durant has given any indication he is interested in joining James, but by being the best player available on the open market come the summer, it stands to reason he is someone the Lakers will pursue.

Although there’s plenty of speculation suggesting Durant will move on from the Golden State Warriors after this season, recent comments make it seem as though that wouldn’t be for the Lakers.

James addressed Durant’s criticism, explaining he was upset but the two have since spoken and moved on from the matter, via ESPN’s Rachel Nichols:

“I was a little pissed off when I first heard it — to be honest. I didn’t know where it stemmed from. So I was pissed, my family was pissed, and my friends was pissed. We just didn’t know why, at this point and time in the season, my name or what I’ve done in my career was kind of talked about like that. I don’t feel like it’s ever been toxic around me. And when I hear “toxic,” I automatically thought, “toxic” is like you don’t wanna be around that because it’s almost like a fatal disease.

But got a phone call from KD. We talked about it. He mentioned how he felt and how he felt the story took a twist. And as a man, I don’t hold on to things too long. I’m too happy in my life right now, and I don’t hold on to anything that will take away from my happiness. … Listen, he told me how he felt, and he apologized on how it came out. And I said, All right. We moved on from there.”

James will get to see Durant for the first time since his remarks when the Lakers face the Warriors for their Christmas Day game. It’s a fourth consecutive season in which a James-led team has played the Warriors on the holiday.

He’s 1-2 in such matchups thus far, with the lone win coming at Quicken Loans Arena in 2016.

As for a potential pairing of James and Durant on the Lakers, the possibility has yet to be truly ruled out, even if it seems unlikely. There were conflicting reports this past summer of James reaching out to Durant to gauge his interest in signing with the Lakers for this season.

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