LeBron James dismissed talk about the Los Angeles Clippers following their NBA playoff exit as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar marvelled at upcoming opponents the Denver Nuggets.
A blockbuster all-Los Angeles Western Conference final was quashed by the rallying Nuggets, who overturned a 3-1 series deficit against the second-seeded Clippers to set up a Lakers clash.
Asked about not playing Kawhi Leonard's Clippers for a place in the NBA Finals, three-time champion James told reporters on Thursday: "I don't have a comment about it really.
"I was just sitting back and watching the game from a fan's perspective, seeing big shots be made, big plays being made, missed shots, things of that nature. I was also [watching] as a scout, scouting both teams at the same time."
A follow-up question centred on the Lakers and Clippers settling their battle for supremacy in Los Angeles but James replied: "What were we settling?"
Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis added: "We aren't focused on any other team but the Lakers. That's kind of been us, our whole thing the entire season. We focused on our own team.
"Our focus isn't on the Clippers or the 'Battle of L.A.' It's more so what can we do to finish our season strong."
James and Davis were speaking on the eve of Game 1 between top seeds the Lakers and the Nuggets at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Nuggets overpowered the shocked Clippers as they became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series twice in the same postseason, having rallied past the Utah Jazz.
Led by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets will contest their first Conference final since losing to the Lakers in 2008-09.
"Very resilient, very confident, very driven, very well-coached team," James said as he lauded the third-seeded Nuggets.
"It takes a lot of energy, effort, a lot of desperation to be able to come back from a 3-1 deficit. They did it twice. So the respect level is out of this world for what we have for this ballclub. That's how we're going into this series: understanding what they're capable of, where they stand."