Lebron James had an illuminating response when asked about his relationship with some of the younger players in the league, along with a message to those who think he's too friendly with opponents. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James had a message for those who say he is too friendly with his opponents.

James had a triple-double (34 points, 12 rebounds, 13 assists) in his Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. He prevailed over Zion Williamson, who had 35 points for the Pelicans. The two were trading buckets and seemed to inspire one another.

The two players held a long embrace on the court after the game, which led to a line of questioning about their friendship.

“Anybody that says that ‘LeBron, why would he do that while he’s playing? It’s a sign of weakness — he’s buddy-buddy with the guys thath he’s going against.’ Tell them to kiss my a–. With a smile, too!” James said after the game.

James declined to tell the media what he said to Zion after the game. But his performance on the court does seem to send a message that he can take it to an opponent during a game while still being friendly with them afterward.

James has now faced the top two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft in consecutive games and has helped bring out some great performances from both of them.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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Can you name every NBA player to record a triple-double during the 2018-19 season?
34 / OKC / G
Russell Westbrook
12 / DEN / C
Nikola Jokic
10 / PHI / G
Ben Simmons
8 / DAL / G
Luka Doncic
8 / LAL / F
LeBron James
7 / HOU / G
James Harden
6 / NO / G
Elfrid Payton
5 / MIL / F
Giannis Antetokounmpo
3 / MEM / G
Delon Wright
2 / WAS / G
Bradley Beal
2 / GSW / F
Kevin Durant
2 / PHI / C
Joel Embiid
2 / DET / F
Blake Griffin
2 / TOR / G
Kyle Lowry
2 / POR / G
Evan Turner
1 / MEM / F
Kyle Anderson
1 / LAL / G
Lonzo Ball
1 / MIL / G
Eric Bledsoe
1 / SA / G
DeMar DeRozan
1 / MIA / G
Goran Dragic
1 / SAC / G
De'Aaron Fox
1 / MEM / C
Marc Gasol
1 / OKC / F
Paul George
1 / NYK / F
Mario Hezonja
1 / BOS / C
Al Horford
1 / BOS / G
Kyrie Irving
1 / POR / G
CJ McCollum
1 / POR / C
Jusuf Nurkic
1 / HOU / G
Chris Paul
1 / NO / F
Julius Randle
1 / LAL / G
Rajon Rondo
1 / WAS / G
Tomas Satoransky
1 / NYK / G
Dennis Smith
1 / ORL / C
Nikola Vucevic
1 / MIA / G
Dwyane Wade
1 / LAC / G
Lou Williams
1 / ATL / G
Trae Young

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