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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant’s new height changes to 6’10” after NBA crackdown

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has grown this year, sort of.

The NBA sent a memo to teams telling them they needed to certify players’ ages and heights. The crackdown came after Buddy Hield was revealed to be older than his previously listed age.

The New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy reported on Sunday that as part of this crackdown, Durant’s height was changed from 6-foot-9 to 6-foot-10.

KD had long been listed as 6-foot-9 on his player profiles even though it was widely recognized that he was taller.

Here are some old tweets about the matter:

Durant had been perpetuating the myth that he was 6-foot-9.

Why did he lie about his height? Durant explained in an interview with KNBR’s Bob Fitzgerald.

“Since I love you guys so much, I was recorded at 6’10” and three-quarters with no shoes, so with my shoes on I’m 7-feet,” Durant told Fitzgerald. “I just like messin’ with people. They just ask me so much… yeah, I just like messin’ with people.

“For me, when I’m talking to women, I’m 7 feet. In basketball circles, I’m 6-9.

“I’ve always thought it was cool to say I’m a 6-9 small forward,” he said. “Really, that’s the prototypical size for a small forward. Anything taller than that, and they’ll start saying, ‘Ah, he’s a power forward.’ ”

So there you have it. Durant is officially listed at 6-foot-10 now, but still may be closer to 6-foot-11, and probably 7-feet tall with shoes on.

I could understand lying about height if you’re this guy, but there does not seem to be much meaningful reason for Durant to do it.

Kyrie Irving says he will ‘protect’ Kevin Durant from returning too soon again

Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant may have gotten some bad advice and given into external pressure when he decided to play in the NBA Finals last year, but Kyrie Irving says he will not allow that to happen again with the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving told reporters on Friday that it is obvious Durant wasn’t ready to return from his calf injury in the Finals, which led to a torn Achilles. Kyrie says he is going to hold himself personally responsible for making sure Durant is “101 percent ready” before he takes the court with the Nets.

“We all know (Durant) was not ready to play in that environment,” Irving said. “We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not. He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage in the Finals to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin.

“I’m here to protect that. I’m going to be a protector of that all throughout the year in not allowing anyone to infiltrate that circle of, ‘Hey, (Kevin), do you. Get right. We’ll be fine.’ We have expectations for our team and obviously know he’s an integral part, but we’ll wait for that. I’ll be over-patient with Kevin.”

That may sound egotistical of Irving to say, but it’s worth noting that Durant referred to him once again as his “best friend” on Friday. Durant obviously cares a great deal about Kyrie’s opinion, so perhaps it will help to have a teammate who urges patience. There were rumblings earlier in the week that Durant may return earlier than expected from his Achilles injury, but the Nets say they do not plan on him playing this season.

Some comments Durant made publicly indicate he does not blame the Golden State Warriors for what happened to him, but his “best friend” Irving feels differently. It’s fair to assume what Durant has said about the situation privately probably does not match with what he said in public.

Draymond Green throws shade at Kevin Durant’s brother in strange IG comment

Draymond Green

Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had their differences when they were teammates with the Golden State Warriors, but Kevin isn’t the only member of the Durant family that Green doesn’t get along with. A comment Green left on Durant’s brother’s Instagram page may or may not be evidence of that.

Durant’s brother, Tony, recently had a baby. He shared a photo on Instagram of himself, Kevin and their mother Wanda posing with the new addition, and Green chimed in with a bizarre comment.

“You talked a lot of bulls— about me … all good doe … This pic brings me great JOY … however this is not the American dream … it’s OUR dream,” Green wrote.

What does that mean? We can only speculate, but it seems like Green is saying Tony is living a nice life only because Kevin has been so successful as a basketball player. As for why Green would feel the need to point that out in a social media post celebrating the arrival of a new baby, it could be because Tony has been critical of Green in the past.

As Eric Ting of SFGate.com reminds us, Tony called out Green after Green’s most public dispute with Kevin last year, when the two got into an argument on the court that spilled over into the locker room. Tony posted some cryptic messages on Instagram that could be interpreted as him saying Green is piggybacking off of the accomplishments of Kevin and others.

Then, there’s also the fact that Green capitalized the word “JOY” in his comment. When Warriors coach Steve Kerr criticized the team late last season for not playing with more anger and passion, Durant disagreed with Kerr and told the media, “I thought we moved off joy.”

All of this is very petty, of course, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. There seems to be some tension between Durant and a few of his former Warriors teammates — not just Green. That should make for a lot more petty social media activity during the season.

Nets GM says team is not planning on Kevin Durant playing this season

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has been expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season since he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals last year, and the Brooklyn Nets say the timeline for his recovery has not changed.

In response to rumors that Durant has a chance to play at some point this upcoming season, Nets general manager Sean Marks told reports on Tuesday that the plan remains for Durant to sit out. He said Durant has been rehabbing aggressively and may want to play, but the team is committed to a long-term approach.

Durant may have suffered the torn Achilles because he rushed back from a calf strain, so returning to the court before he is 100 percent healthy this time would not be wise. Even if Durant has made it clear he doesn’t blame the Warriors for what happened to him, no one should have a better understanding of how important it is to be fully healed before returning.

The Nets signed Durant knowing he was not going to be available in 2019-20, but they should still be a playoff team with Kyrie Irving. Either way, they are content to wait until next year to start contending for titles. That was the plan from the start.

Nets reporter starts rumor Kevin Durant could play this season

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has widely been expected to sit out the entire 2019-20 season as he recovers from a torn Achilles, but suddenly there are rumblings that he may not miss his first year with the Brooklyn Nets.

We can thank Brian Lewis of the New York Post for that. On Monday, Lewis tweeted that there is a “growing sentiment” around the NBA that Durant could play at some point this upcoming season.

That seems highly unlikely, and would it really be a wise decision? Durant knows all too well about the risks of returning from an injury too early, as he was battling a right calf strain before he returned to play for the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and ruptured his right Achilles just minutes after taking the court. There’s still some disagreement over whether the injuries were related, but it’s not worth taking a similar risk again.

Durant should also look at DeMarcus Cousins, who has suffered numerous significant injuries over the past two years. Again, there is debate over whether or not they are all related, but Cousins tore his Achilles with the New Orleans Pelicans halfway through the 2017-18 season and returned to play for Golden State in January of the following season. Cousins then suffered a torn quad muscle during the playoffs, and he has since torn his ACL.

Even if Durant has made it clear he doesn’t blame the Warriors for what happened to him, no one should have a better understanding of how important it is to be 100 percent healthy before returning. The Nets knew he probably would not play for a year when they signed him, and they should stick to that plan. Because Durant is so clearly bothered by the way fans treat him, he may get the urge to fight his way back. The only thing he should fight is that urge.

Steve Kerr agrees with Kevin Durant’s comment about Warriors’ offense

Steve Kerr

A comment Kevin Durant made about the Golden State Warriors’ offense was interpreted by some as a shot towards Steve Kerr, but the head coach does not see it that way. Rather, he agrees with Durant.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Durant said Kerr’s offense only works to a certain extent.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point. We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play,” Durant said.

A lot of people wanted to point a finger and say “ooh, shots fired!” but not even Kerr sees it that way.

“I wasn’t at all offended what Kevin said because it’s basically the truth,” Kerr told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “You look at any system, I mean, I played the triangle with Michael Jordan. The offense ran a lot smoother all regular season and the first couple rounds of the playoffs than it did in the conference finals and Finals. It just did.”

Kerr continued: “That’s why guys like Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are who they are. They can transcend any defense. But defenses in the playoffs, deep in the playoffs, combined with the physicality of the game — where refs can’t possibly call a foul every time — means that superstars have to take over. No system is just going to dice a Finals defense up. You have to rely on individual play. I didn’t look at (his comment) as offensive. I look at that as fact.”

Durant was correct. Kerr is smart enough not to be offended. All is well.

And if you’re wondering how or why Kerr has been so successful as a head coach, just look at this answer. He doesn’t get offended, he doesn’t get outraged, he’s smart and reasonable, and understands that adapting and having stars are critical to achieving the highest level of success.

Durant made some other headlines with his comments in that interview, including his remarks about Oklahoma City Thunder fans and what he said about “full acceptance.”

Steph Curry responds to Kevin Durant’s ‘full acceptance’ remark

Steph Curry responded on Wednesday to Kevin Durant’s recent remarks about never feeling fully accepted by the Golden State Warriors.

Durant, who chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, was the subject of a feature in the Wall Street Journal last week. In the article, Durant reiterated a point he’s made in the past about feeling like an outsider on the Warriors.

“As time went on, I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there,” Durant said.

Curry, who was drafted by the Warriors in 2009 and has spent his entire career with the team, talked about Durant’s remarks during an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on Wednesday.

“I mean, that’s tough,” Curry said of Durant’s remarks. “There’s so many narratives that go on, especially when you’re at the top of the league. No matter how, you know, the full transition happens to Brooklyn, him separating himself from the Warriors — that’s gonna happen. I think he knows, you know, what we were about as teammates, what we were about as friends on and off the court. And again, nobody is gonna take away the accomplishments we had. But at the end of the day, whatever he, you know, needed to do to make that decision and however he wants to explain that — that’s just what’s gonna happen.”

That’s a lot of words from Curry that don’t say much. It’s a very professional, non-controversial answer. He’s looking to try and see the bright side and talk about what they accomplished. But he’s probably sick of Durant’s complaining at this point, especially about issues that were always going to exist. Durant was not part of the core of Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson; he was joining them. Of course he was always going to be a little different. How is KD the only one who doesn’t see that?

In the Wall Street Journal piece, Durant also complained about the Warriors’ motion offense.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” Durant said.

Curry was asked about that.

“Well, I don’t care what plays we ran,” Curry said. “We won two championships. And at the end of the day, we had a lot of talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn’t always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself. We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships, too.”

You really can’t get much better in terms of answers than what Curry offered. He’s probably perturbed by some of Durant’s comments but certainly not showing it. One report said he was bothered by the timing of Durant’s Nets announcement. If he was, he’s not showing it through his comments.