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Monday, November 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant admits feud with Draymond Green was factor in him leaving Warriors

Kevin Durant

The relationship between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green never seemed the same following their altercation early last season, and many believe that was a factor in Durant’s decision to leave the Golden State Warriors and sign with the Brooklyn Nets. Now, we can say with certainty that it played a role.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Thursday, Durant admitted the incident with Green helped push him out the door.

“A little bit, yeah, for sure,” Durant said. “If your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it but definitely, for sure, I’m not gonna lie about it.”

Durant also said he felt the incident could have been avoided, and he believes it is one of the main reasons he was constantly asked about his impending free agency.

“I wish that wouldn’t have happened. It was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere,” he said. “Everybody was just looking for something to tear us down, and that just brought in the firestorm with every day being about my free agency … it opened up a lot of nonsense that could have been avoided.”

The original reason for the argument probably was not that big of a deal. Durant called out Green for not passing the ball near the end of an eventual overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November, and the dispute spilled over into the locker room. What really created issues was when Green told Durant the Warriors don’t need him and reminded him that they won before he arrived in Golden State. That is almost certainly what Durant was referring to on “First Take.”

Ironically, the Green who told Durant the Warriors don’t need him is the same Green who supposedly called K.D. to deliver the opposite message after Golden State lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals back in 2016.

It’s possible Durant was going to leave the Warriors in free agency regardless, but his strained relationship with Green may have made the decision easier.

Kevin Durant responds to Donovan McNabb about Nets regret

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has yet to play in a game with the Brooklyn Nets and won’t until next season, but somehow there has already been talk about whether he regrets his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors. Judging by the exchange he had with former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb, that does not appear to be the case.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan published a lengthy feature in which sources told her the Nets are already concerned about Kyrie Irving’s attitude. In response to that story, McNabb tweeted that he wonders if Durant will wish he had re-signed with the Warriors.

Those who know Durant and his affinity for social media will not be surprised to hear that the two-time NBA Finals MVP fired back. He had a very simple response for McNabb, telling him to “relax.”

NBA superstars can be difficult to manage, and Irving has a reputation for sulking when things don’t go his way. Durant is also notoriously thin-skinned and has shown us numerous times in the past how much criticism bothers him, so it will be interesting to see how things go with him and Irving playing for the same team. That said, the new-look Nets have played just three games. It would be hard for Durant to regret his decision before he even steps onto the court in a Nets uniform, and that isn’t happening until next season. McNabb’s take is a bit premature, if nothing else.

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.