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LeBron defends Durant: 'He's got to become a free agent one day'

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Tuesday was emotional for Chris Paul.  (USATSI)
LeBron is sticking up for Mr. Unreliable. (USATSI)

More postseason coverage: Playoff schedule, results | Latest news, notes

In case you missed it somehow yesterday, The Oklahoman printed a headline about Kevin Durant that said "Mr. Unreliable."

Someone who didn't miss it: LeBron James.

Asked on Friday about his reaction to the controversy surrounding it, LeBron seemed to back Durant, but kind of in an awkward manner.

"He's got to become a free agent one day," James said.

Oh.

The situations aren't exactly comparable, because LeBron, while loved in Cleveland, had become a bit of a national media whipping boy with his postseason failures with the Cavs. So he did become a free agent and while it worked out well in the end -- as in, two championships -- the way in which he handled it is one of his biggest regrets. So maybe he's not exactly the right guy to be giving free agency advice.

LeBron, though, wasn't entirely serious with his answer about Durant. According to reporter Michael Wallace of ESPN.com, LeBron make a crack about helping with one headline was enough and then hummed the SportsCenter jingle.

Still, the focus is already on Durant and his free agency in 2016. A silly headline isn't going to influence Durant to the point of leaving, but you can be sure he's paying attention.

 
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