LeBron James says the secret to his success with Anthony Davis — as the first-year teammates now have the Los Angeles Lakers three wins away from the NBA title — is pretty simple.
“We’re not jealous of each other. I think that’s the best thing,” James said before Thursday’s practice, preparing for Game 2 of the Finals against the Miami Heat (Friday, 9 p.m. ET, ABC). “In professional sports, you have guys that join forces — you can call them alpha males. That’s what they call them. Two guys that have been dominant in a specific sport on their own respective teams, and they get together and they talk about how dominant they can be and they talk about this is going to be this and that. I believe jealousy creeps in a lot. And that is the absolute contrary of what we are.
“We know who we are. We know what we’re about. We want the best, seriously, every single day, both on and off the floor, for one another. We’re just not jealous of one another. I think that you align that with respect, I think the sky’s the limit.”
James and Davis’ chemistry started long before they were both in Los Angeles. Davis, while in high school, was a camper at James’ summer skills academy and later, they teamed up together in the 2012 London Olympics. Last season, with James playing alongside an inexperienced Lakers group and Davis starring for a middling New Orleans Pelicans squad, the two publicly pined for a trade to land Davis with the Lakers.
Davis said jealousy concerns “never crossed my mind” when the trade was consummated last June, pairing him with one of the most famous athletes not just in the country, but in the entire world.
“I’m not jealous of him, he’s not jealous of me. I think it shows on the court,” Davis said. “Obviously, that can always creep in when you’ve got, like you said, two alpha males on the same team. But I think when you’ve got two guys who are very selfless and want to win as bad as both of us want to, the rest of it goes away and just takes care of itself. Jealousy has never been a thing on our team from anyone.”
“We’re not jealous of one another.”
LeBron on the common ground that’s allowed his relationship with AD to flourish pic.twitter.com/XGl2W8aQHh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 1, 2020
James’ description of his fit with Davis comes days after his former teammate Kyrie Irving — whom James linked with to win a championship in 2016 and make three Finals appearances in three years before the point guard requested a trade out of Cleveland — seemingly took a shot at him on a podcast appearance.
On the debut episode of Kevin Durant’s new podcast, “The ETCs w/ KD,” Irving praised Durant as being a teammate he can trust as much as he trusts himself in late-game situations.
“One thing I’ve always been comfortable with is I felt like I was the best option on every team I played for down the stretch,” Irving said. “This is the first time in my career where I could look down and be like, ‘That motherf—er can make that shot, too, and he’d probably do it a lot easier.'”
James, 35, told ESPN he was aware of Irving’s comments but declined to comment further.
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