LeBron James saying that it would be "amazing" to play with Anthony Davis set off the NBA world earlier in the week.
However, not everyone found James' response as entertaining. According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, several small-market general managers raised tampering concerns after James' comments about the Pelicans superstar.
Following the Lakers' 112-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, James defended his comment about wanting to play with Davis, which generated plenty of attention. He said it's simply about him answering a question honestly about playing with a great player.
LeBron James takes on the hullabaloo about his Anthony Davis quote. This was good. pic.twitter.com/ErJadhnOJ7— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) December 22, 2018
"Ask about Kyrie Irving, Giannis [Antetokounmpo]," James responded when being asked about Davis. "Ask about [Joel] Embiid, Ben Simmons. Go ahead, ask me about all of them. Luka Doncic. Ask me right now. C'mon, 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 say. And they can't control me. At all. And I play by the rules."
Wojnarowski also reported that an NBA spokesman said "it is not tampering when a player makes a comment about his interest in playing with another team's player." James was simply asked a question about Davis and he answered honestly.
This situation is particularly intriguing because of the uncertain future of Davis with the Pelicans. Davis is eligible to sign a supermax contract extension with New Orleans following the season, but there's been quite a bit of speculation that he may not sign a new deal with the team. In fact, Sam Amick of The Athletic reported that money will not be the deciding factor in if Davis stays with the Pelicans or not.
The Lakers, back in action on Sunday against the Grizzlies (9:30 p.m. ET -- watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), have been labeled as a popular destination for Davis if the Pelicans decide to cut their losses and trade their franchise center. Los Angeles has been looking for another superstar to pair with James, and the Lakers definitely have the attractive, young assets that could potentially get a deal done.
For now, it appears that James was just answering a question that he was asked about Davis and obviously feels that way about quite a few players around the league.