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LeBron James says he wants to play with Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic

LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic

LOS ANGELES – On the backs of his third triple-double of the season, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night. The postgame headlines, however, wrote themselves after the game when the Lakers star answered more questions regarding Davis.

Earlier in the week, when asked about potentially playing alongside him, James said he would love to play with Davis. Those comments were run away with, and the Pelicans even considered it a form of tampering. After Friday night’s game, James defended his original statements made to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin earlier in the week during the team’s road trip.

“No, of course not. What did I do?” James asked.

“You made comments about another team’s player,” the reporter responded.

“But what did I do?”

“You made comments about-”

“But was it right or wrong?”

“I don’t know. Were you surprised at the attention it generated?”

“Of course not, anything I say is gonna generate something.”

After James defended his previous comments, he appeared to go even further down the line in naming even more NBA stars that he’d currently like to play with.

“Ask me would I like to play with Kevin Durant?” said James.

“Would you like to play with Kevin Durant?” responded a reporter.

“Absolutely. Ask me would I like to play with Jimmy Butler. Ask me about Kyrie Irving, Giannis [Antetokounmpo]. Ask me about Embiid, Ben Simmons, all of them. Luka Doncic. Come one guys, it’s not rocket science. These are great players. Absolutely, I would love to play with a lot of great players. That’s just who I am.”

“People get caught up in bunches sometimes when they wish they could control what you could, but they can’t control me. At all.

“And I play by the rules.”

Clearly, James is not worried about a tampering fine, but he also doubled down on his want to play with great players in a way that essentially eliminates any notion that he’s tampering.

According to ESPN, the NBA said that James didn’t tamper and thus wasn’t going to be hit with any kind of fine.

“Each case is assessed on its own facts,” the spokesman told Wojnarowski. “In general, absent evidence of team coordination or other aggravating factors, it is not tampering when a player makes a comment about his interest in playing with another team’s player.”