HoopsHype Kevin Durant rumors

October 2, 2014 Updates
September 30, 2014 Updates

Russell Westbrook isn't the only Thunder player in the eyewear game anymore. Kevin Durant and Nike have collaborated on a line of frames which will release this season and in early 2015. The adult collection releases in the next few weeks, while the Young Athlete version (NK 5530) will be available in January. Oklahoman

Q: You still feeling good about the group, especially considering how young everyone is? Kevin Durant: "Yeah, I mean look, we're all 25, 26 years old, and stuff happens. Injuries happen. Bad breaks happen. It's a part of sports, and we understand that. Look, we're excited about the team we have, excited about Russ (Westbrook) and Serge (Ibaka) being back healthy, but you never know what happens. We want to just take it as slow as we can man, a day at a time, continue to help our young guys get better and we get better as well. Just trust in each other and know that you can't predict what will happen in June right now, but we can kind of dictate it in the way we approach our jobs." USA Today Sports

Q: Speaking of Reggie, how do you see his situation in terms of starting vs. coming off the bench? (Jackson, who is hoping to secure an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline, has made it clear he wants to start this season) "Yeah, I mean, as kids we're taught that being a starter means that you're it. But I've seen starters average 10 minutes a game, and not finish games. But Reggie finishes games for us, and I think that's more important. I also think that in his head, playing behind Russell, (and considering) they're the same age, but he finishes games for us and I think that's what's important to him. USA Today Sports

Q: You talk about being more open with how you see things, and the fact that it's ok for you to get upset, and it reminds me of a moment I saw in the playoffs where you were chirping with a woman in the stands in San Antonio. Is it hard not to respond sometimes? A: "Yeah, I mean I've got a quick trigger with people talking (expletive) to me. Whether it's other players or whether it's fans, (Thunder media relations director) Matty (Tumbleson) tells me all the time, 'Don't say anything,' but it's hard. "I remember we played Dallas and I fell into the stands, and I was talking trash back and forth with some lady and she threw the middle finger at me, and we've been great friends since then. I go over there and hug her every game, and we've been really good friends, because I understand that. I don't take it personal. I get pissed on the court, because it's just like, 'Man, I've got to take my anger out somewhere' and it's on the court. But those moments like that man, I just learned that it's not about losing your cool but about how this might push me over the top and get me to the space where I need to be in order for us to win this game. But the pressure on top of that is, I learned not to care no more. Either you're going to win or you're going to lose, and of course I'd love to win but I'm going to be me all the way through and live with the results. That's always how I've been these last few years, actually. Since 2012, I've really been feeling comfortable with myself." USA Today Sports

A photographer’s assistant at one station, making small talk, asked Durant if he had already opened his birthday presents. “When you turn 26, you don’t get presents no more,” Durant replied. “It’s just texts.” Oklahoman

September 29, 2014 Updates

LeBron James says he has not decided whether he'll play in the 2016 Olympics. James said Monday following the Cavaliers' practice that he's "nowhere near" deciding if he'll again play for Team USA in two years. Kevin Durant has reportedly said he will play for the American squad in Brazil, but James said following practice that "I haven't even thought about it too much. I haven't decided." Bradenton.com

Durant has led the Thunder to at least the Western Conference finals in three of the last four years. No player logged more minutes than he did last season and his workload over the last five seasons is beyond reproach. “I’d rather have a guy tell the powers-to-be, ‘you know what, I can’t give you my 100 precent effort both mentally and physically,’ because if you don’t you’re not going to help your team,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I have a lot of respect for Kevin stepping up. That was not an easy decision, but he stepped up and said, ‘I wasn’t mentally and physically ready to compete with the 12 guys we had.’ He played a lot of basketball. He’s entitled to have a summer off, right?” NBA.com

Marc Stein: In chat for @SportsCenter to air this week, Kevin Durant tells ESPN he intends to be on Team USA for 2016 Olympics after his '14 summer off. Durant withdrew from Team USA in August shortly before 2014 FIBA WC in Spain but says he plans to make himself available for 2016 in Brazil. Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

While the curse has been a hot topic on the Internet, Durant only seems to be half-aware and claims that he and the Based God are cool. “A curse? I keep hearing it. Every time I sign on to Twitter on Instagram it’s this Lil B stuff coming up, but I don’t have no problem with Lil B,” KD told Revolt TV while he walked the red carpet at a part promoting the release of the upcoming basketball video game “NBA 2K15″ in New York City. “He got so many fans, it’s starting to get on my nerves so… Just to get those people away from me, me and Lil B are cool,” he ended. MTV

But as Durant sat in the backseat outside his home, a three-story townhouse that's in the heart of Oklahoma City's downtown with his oil tycoon neighbors just a half-court shot away, the silliness segued into the serious as he discussed a dance of a different kind: his free agency in the summer of 2016 and the chatter surrounding his uncertain future that isn't going away anytime soon. "We'll keep dancing around (the topic), and by the time it comes it's going to be even more awkward than it was, so it's not a surprise (that people ask him about it) because everybody wants to know," Durant told USA TODAY Sports. "But I'm taking it day by day with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That's my main concern. And whatever the future holds, I don't know, because I can't tell you the future. I'm going to take it a day at a time. I enjoy being here. I enjoy my teammates. I like the direction we're going in, and that's not just a cliché (expletive) answer. That's real." USA Today Sports

"When you spend so much time in one place, you feel a part of it, especially with some great years you feel a part of it. It's a huge part of my life, and I can't just come here and punch the clock, saying, 'Oh, I can't wait until July comes so I can leave (during the offseasons).' I never felt that way." The local media knows this as much as anyone, which likely explains why they're giving him space on the topic. At Presti's 35-minute, season tip-off news conference Thursday at the team's practice facility, he wasn't asked one question about Durant's future. "I love OKC," Durant said. "I always wanted to be a part of something bigger than just basketball. And what I told myself coming into the league was, 'This city is going to adopt me, I'm going to adopt this city, and we're going to grow together.' " USA Today Sports

Westbrook won't be a free agent until the summer of 2017, meaning Durant won't be able to share this free agency stage with his longtime running mate. "Our relationship has grown a lot, and it's one of those things where it would definitely be difficult to not be running up and down the court with him, so I try not to even think about that," Durant says. "But at the same time, I just want to enjoy the moment and not worry about the future, even though it's tough to. I go home, and everybody asks me. Man, it's crazy. Like little kids, 4 years old, 'You coming to the Wizards?' Man, (expletive), how do you know about this? At 4 years old, I didn't even know what basketball players were. How do you know about free agency?" USA Today Sports

"What I heard was that people would talk about me and say that I don't have that killer dog in me, like a Kobe (Bryant) or — who else? — like Mike (Jordan), and those guys have," he continues. "But I'm like, 'I wouldn't be able to survive this long in this league doing the stuff that I do at an elite level (if he didn't have it). I wouldn't be able to do it for seven straight years if I didn't have that it,you know?' "And sometimes that may not equate to wins, or championships every year. (But) I feel as though I'm always consistent with what I do. I put in the work. And being the best player (in the NBA) is (now) a conversation. If you go out today and say, 'KD is the best player in the world,' that's a conversation. That's not the tell-all, be-all. So when people say, 'Oh, he might have been MVP, but he's not the best player in the world.' Well, I can argue it. We can all argue it." USA Today Sports

From his free agency future to his decision to not take part in Team USA over the summer to the notion that LeBron James is still the best player on the planet, Durant was uncensored in ways that we haven't seen in years past. It is, as he explained, all part of a personal evolution that is clearly liberating for him. "I just realized that I'm just trying to be myself," Durant said. "When I'm upset, now I feel comfortable being upset. It's cool that I can be upset. I may cuss one time in an interview, or I may yell at my teammates. And it's all right. I understand that it's cool for me to be that way because that's me. I'm human, and I have times when I'm upset. I think that's what people didn't see. "It's like I keep saying: I'm human. Some people look at professional athletes like superheroes and nothing is supposed to affect us. But sometimes it does, and sometimes I go off." USA Today Sports

The more Durant talks, the more it's clear that he's been censoring himself these past couple of years. The softer side remains away from the arena, of course, but he has long been ready to shed this image that he's the NBA's version of Mr. Rogers. As his latest Foot Locker commercial features him saying as he stares into a camera and shakes his head with confusion about the way he's perceived, "Too nice?" "I've never been a punk on the court; never," he says, growing more animated. "Where I come from, you can't play unless you're like, 'Man, (expletive) that, I'm playing. You ain't getting me off the court.' "My peers know. That's how I'll say it. My peers know that when they're playing against me, that I'm going to always keep coming — good or bad. I'm going to keep coming at you." USA Today Sports

"I love Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and (program director) Mr. (Jerry) Colangelo, because they understood everything. I didn't want it to overshadow what they were doing, so that's why I kind of felt bad about it. But at the same time, I knew I had to do it for myself, and this was one of the first decisions basketball-wise that was like, 'All right, this is just for me. I'm worried about me right now. I was a little selfish, and sometimes that makes people, it made a lot of people, uncomfortable." And to those who don't agree or understand? "Seriously, to be honest, I was like '(expletive) 'em.' You can write that, too. Seriously, though. I'm just going to be me, man, and that's how I felt. "I was happy I took the hits, like, 'All right, that's going to teach me to be strong and not worry about what everybody has got to say.' I heard it all — 'you don't care about your country' to 'you're soft' to all of that. Well I don't care. These people don't know me. They don't know the work I've put in. They don't know that I've done (the FIBA tournament) before, so it made me stronger." USA Today Sports

September 25, 2014 Updates

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