LeBron James will take the attention, just not when it comes to Draymond Green’s suddenly favorite “superteam” argument.
James continued the dispute with his on-court enemy a day after Green mocked him with a “Quickie” shirt during the Warriors’ championship parade, denying Green’s declaration that he “started the superteam” with his own championship stints in Miami and Cleveland.
“No,” James said when Green’s comment came up on “The Road Trippin’” podcast, hosted by James’ teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye. “No. I mean in 2003, the Lakers combined Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaq (O’Neal) and Kobe (Bryant). And in ’96, when Jordan was retired, the Rockets joined Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler all on the same team.
“But I don’t look at it as … I definitely didn’t start the superteam, if that’s what he’s trying to say. But I just feel like that it’s great that on the day you’re celebrating your championship, my likeness and my name is in your head. I love that.”
Jefferson defended that reasoning by distinguishing the historical franchises James mentioned and the Warriors from each team James led to a title. Unlike the others, Jefferson argued, the Heat and the Cavaliers were not title contenders before James brought his talents to their rosters.
Golden State, meanwhile, signed Kevin Durant as the cherry-on-top of an already proven superpower.
“People forget, when you went to Miami, they had just lost in the first round. And you added Chris Bosh,” Jefferson said. “To put it in comparison, the Golden State Warriors have been the best team the last three years. They broke NBA records for the last three years, and they added probably the second-best talent in the NBA.”
James heaped praises on Durant, calling him a “talent of his own,” while joining his teammates in piling on Green.
After breaking his social media silence to show himself back in the gym and to poke fun at Green’s shirt, James clarified the Warriors’ win played no part in his surprising decision to go bald.
“No. Of course not,” he said. “If that was the case, I would have grown an Afro.”
Whether he believes in it or not, James may have to face the Warriors with the least of a “superteam” he’s had in years with the Cavaliers expected to make significant moves to avoid a devastating salary-cap position. Four days removed from the Finals’ Game 5 loss, the 32-year-old isn’t worried.
“My motivation? It hasn’t changed,” James said. “My motivation hasn’t stopped. It’s just ‘Strive for greatness.’ My motivation don’t change. I can’t stop. I refuse to stop.”