"If these are the rules, enforce them", one Western Conference GM told ESPN.
The coach seemed to walk back that opinion later Friday, as the Pelicans prepared to take on the Lakers at Staples Center, acknowledging that if James was asked the question by reporters, it would be hard for him not to respond.
Rival teams contend James' public longing for players under contract has created a tsunami of reaction, coverage and consequences that can be seen as designed to destabilize an opposition organization working to retain its star player.
Anthony Davis is focused on making the Pelicans better and not on LeBron James publicly wishing he would be traded to the Lakers. "That would be wonderful, like, duh".
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He argues the bill leaves too much discretion to judges and leaves bureaucrats calculating who gets their sentence cut short. Earlier, the Senate approved the legislation with a similar show of support by a vote of 87 to12.
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We have the chance to win another trophy and now I'm just feeling glad to be in the final. Whether he returns to Madrid is not up to me.
"In the National Football League they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality", James said during Friday night's episode. The fact that Davis recently hired James' agent - Rich Paul of Klutch Sports - for his agent representation has elevated the belief that Klutch will eventually push the Pelicans to make a deal with the Lakers - or risk losing Davis in free agency. He hasn't commented one way or another about the Pelicans offering him the supermax, but he's been clear about how much he loves New Orleans.
The Lakers got the better of the Pelicans on Friday. Good players want to play with other good players. "In general, absent evidence of team co-ordination or other aggravating factors, it is not tampering when a player makes a comment about his interest in playing with another team's player".
James' driving layup put the Lakers up by seven points with just over two minutes, and wound up providing enough cushion for them to hang on.
"I don't really care", Davis told ESPN.com on Wednesday. He's going to get all the credit and whoever plays with him is going to get all the blame, that's what happened with the Cavaliers previous year and it's what's happening with the Lakers now. "I mean, do we even have to look any further than that?"
So, why hasn't the National Basketball Association punished James and/or the Lakers?