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Suns’ Trevor Ariza pinpoints why superstar players no longer want to join LeBron James

Trevor Ariza, Suns, LeBron James, Lakers

Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza is primed to be among the top trade targets after the Dec. 15 deadline, yet he has noticed the trend of superstar players refraining from joining the biggest star in the game: LeBron James. Stars like Paul George, DeMarcus Cousins, and now even Kawhi Leonard could pass up on the opportunity, something Ariza can see avoiding if he was an elite player like them.

“If I was a free agent, I would have to consider everything,” Ariza told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “But my role is different than PG and Kawhi. They ask them to do different things than they ask of me. Guys similar to [LeBron], why would they want to play with somebody who does all the same things? I can see why they would want to play elsewhere.”

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry noted how “The LeBron Effect” could hinder a free agent’s choice to join the Los Angeles Lakers, given they often get little praise and a massive share of the blame.

Ariza had a different suggestion:

“The media should change the narrative. Make that superstar be a superstar,” the Suns forward said. As Bucher stated “in other words, don’t automatically blame the supporting cast when a team falls short. Sometimes it’s the superstar who fell short.”

The idolatry of LeBron James from a media standpoint has deterred the appeal of getting a ride to the NBA Finals from a perennial presence on the league’s biggest stage. While it could be a surefire trip to the promised land for some stars, it has often hurt more careers in the upswing than helped them.