LeBron James picks odd example to defend friendship with Kevin Durant

For a certain segment of NBA fans, there is a prevailing belief that modern players are too friendly, a sentiment that was once again expressed on Saturday.

Following an exciting showdown between Kevin Durant and LeBron James, the Phoenix Suns posted a picture of the two legendary players engaged in friendly conversation, captioned “respect.” However, a Twitter user with the handle @BlindLivin was not pleased, exclaiming, “I hate this ‘we all fiends’ laughing during the game s***!!” and asserting that Michael Jordan’s infamous hostility is what made him the greatest of all time.

In response, Durant, known for his outspoken nature, fired back with a tweet, stating, “At some point, yall non athletes gon realize that friends compete harder against one another.”

James then entered the exchange, sharing a photo of Jordan smiling with Charles Barkley, prompting further analysis of their relationship.

Of all the people James could have referenced as Jordan’s friend, he chose Barkley, a player with whom Jordan is clearly not on amicable terms at present – and possibly never was.

There is a well-known, albeit possibly embellished, story as told by former Chicago Bulls assistant Johnny Bach, in which Jordan allegedly took Barkley out for 48 holes of golf and gifted him a $20,000 diamond earring during the 1993 NBA Finals. When asked about it, he reportedly said, “He won’t get in my way the rest of the series, what’s $20,000 to me? Charles thinks we’re great friends. I hate that fat f***.”

Even if the story is not entirely accurate and Jordan and Barkley were indeed friends, their relationship has undoubtedly soured over time. Barkley has openly discussed multiple times how Jordan no longer communicates with him due to criticism of his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets.

Therefore, if one is attempting to argue that mortal enemies are not necessary to compete with other NBA stars, it is imperative to exercise caution when seeking examples from Jordan’s career to support this claim.

The game between the Suns and Lakers on Friday was undeniably thrilling, with the two superstars combining for a total of 70 points. Despite the Suns still missing Devin Booker, they led for a significant portion of the game, only for James to lead a comeback and secure the Lakers their first road win of the season.


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