Kevin Durant Latest to Call ‘BS’ That Kobe Is Driving Free Agents from Lakers

Kobe Bryant is not keeping notable free agents from signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, despite his tough-love policies and occasionally abrasive personality.

The state of the roster may be doing that. The time of year probably has something to do with it as well right now, though that's neither here nor there. It's tough for marquee free agents to sign with a team that seems to have an established culture of losing in recent years, even if there's an abundance of historical and brand appeal.

But it's not Bryant who's driving anyone away, and you can add Kevin Durant to the list of people to claim that, as he told USA Today's Sam Amick:

Excuse my language, but that's (expletive). I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I'd want to play with a guy like that every day. ... (His style) may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think (the accusation) is BS.

Durant—who texted Bryant to congratulate him on passing Michael Jordan on the career scoring leaderboard, per Amick—later said the following:

Just his work ethic, just his demeanor man. He doesn't mind being an (expletive), and he comes to work man. He's intense. He demands a lot out of his teammates, and I've seen that just playing alongside him in the Olympics (in 2012). He demands a lot out of everybody. He makes them better. Everybody out on the court. You've got to respect that. As a player, I study guys like that. We might not have the same personality, but I think we approach the game the same way and I've learned a lot from just watching him.

The NBA's reigning MVP isn't the only notable figure to dispute the now-infamous report by's Henry Abbott, one that unequivocally blamed Bryant for the downfall of the once-proud franc...

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