Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant refuted a report that he told his ex-Oklahoma City teammates – including Russell Westbrook – that he planned to re-sign with the Thunder. “It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it. I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
Anthony Slater: Kevin Durant on the report of a Finals or he's leaving ultimatum: "Everyone make up rumors this time of year" https://t.co/hRi14Mbl8o
Royce Young: Kevin Durant on the Finals-or-bust report from yesterday: "You put too much pressure on everybody if you say something like that. Especially my teammates and the organization. They don't deserve that. So I never said said, I never thought said. But like I said I can't control rumors from people who sit behind their desk every day and think of stuff to say, I'm worrying about coming out here every day and staying healthy and trying to battle against the best players in the world while rumors are getting written up about whatever, and I have no control over it. That's their job and my job is to play ball. So I never said that."
Damian Lillard: This woman on ESPN didn't put KD on top 5 players to build around because "he doesn't have heart" lmao ... Where do they find these ppl smh
Marc Stein: Kevin Durant just announced that he's a credentialed photographer at the Super Bowl with his work to be published via the @PlayersTribune
Kevin Durant on his relationship with the media: “I also have something else to say, if you guys don’t mind. I was talking to Matty earlier and I’ve seen over the last couple days – couple of years, actually – that I hate the media. I actually do love you guys. If I hated someone I wouldn’t talk to them. I wouldn’t interact with them. I wouldn’t laugh and joke with them. I wouldn’t talk with them about anything other than what you guys ask me. When I disagree, that doesn’t mean that I hate you guys, so … my whole deal is to spark a conversation and hopefully we can talk about the topic, or whatever it is at hand we can talk about, and we all can grow from it. That’s my whole deal."
Kevin Durant on his relationship with the media: “I know I’m not necessarily talking to all you guys – all you guys with all these mics here. My whole thing is when I disagree that doesn’t mean I hate you, that just means … what you guys really wanted is someone who’s open and honest with you and who’s opinionated and that’s who I am. I haven’t changed, I’m the same person. I just grew as a man. Hopefully you just appreciate it and know that I don’t hate you. That’s a harsh word and my mom never brought me up to be a hater of anyone. I always believe that if I’m open and honest and opinionated that I can grow as a person and hopefully you can learn that’s what I’m about, and hopefully you all can get better. The main goal is to help the fans know the game a little bit more than they know today, so that’s my goal and hopefully that’s your goal instead of getting headlines and clicks. That’s my take on it, that’s the last time I’ll talk about it, but I had something I had to get off my chest. I appreciate it.”
ESPN.com ranked Durant the No. 4 small forward of all-time in a list unveiled Thursday. When asked about the list on Friday, Durant said his inclusion should be saved for down the line. “I’ve always been a firm believer to wait until guys’ careers are over," Durant said. "... but a lot of people nowadays get caught up in the moment, get caught up in ‘what have you done for me lately?’ and they forget about the great players. “I’m not downplaying myself because I think I’m just as good as any small forward that’s played, but at this point in my career I don’t think I should be on that list."
But plenty of people around the league seem to share the same sentiment as Wilbon. It's Warriors, Spurs and Cavs, and then everybody else. The question is, where are the Thunder? "Man, the [media and experts are] always trying to nitpick us," Kevin Durant told ESPN.com. "I mean, they don't like us. They don't like how Russell [Westbrook] talks to the media, they don't like how I talk to the media. So obviously, yeah, they're not going to give us the benefit of the doubt.
"Especially since we've been together so long. Some of these teams are new, except for the Spurs, who have won. But we haven't won and we've still got the same core, so they don't expect us to win. It is what it is, who cares about them. They don't mean nothing, the critics. Their opinions, everybody has one, but we don't really care about them. Every day we're just going to keep grinding this thing out. We feel like we can compete with anybody."
Chris Haynes: LeBron James doesn't agree with Kevin Durant's stance. Says the media has done a great job of building Kobe Bryant up to the stature he is.
Earlier in the day and somewhat reluctantly, Durant addressed reporters in Washington after the Thunder’s shootaround. The Washington Post sent three reporters. The New York Times and Bleacher Report sent a reporter, and ESPN had three reporters at the late-morning availability.
Just days after threatening Kevin Durant on national television, ESPN star Stephen A. Smith tells TMZ Sports things are somehow cool between him and the basketball player. Smith was leaving the SiriusXM radio studio in NYC when we asked if there's been any movement in their relationship since the epic, "You really wanna start something with ME?" moment on Monday. "Kevin Durant and I are just fine," Smith said ... "Just fine."
In a segment on ESPN First Take, Smith said “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I am looking right at the camera.” He also said that if he was lying in his initial report about Durant going to the Lakers, Durant should sign a long-term deal with Oklahoma City to prove him wrong.
Last week, Durant announced a partnership with The Players Tribune, a website built around first-person accounts told through the athlete's eyes. His official title is deputy publisher. But his role will be to create content, starting in the next few weeks. In the press release announcing the agreement, Durant said he was happy to have a place to express his thoughts without "distortion." On Monday, he was asked to clarify. "I know you guys have to do a job," Durant said. "But sometimes our message isn't portrayed the way we want it to. I think it'll be a cool outlet. I'm not using it just to bash the media or get into some major stories. I want to do cool things on there to touch people a little differently than I can in a press conference setting."
Anthony Slater: Players Tribune announces Kevin Durant will post editorial content "in the coming weeks"
Charles Barkley on whether he’ll ever join Twitter: "Probably not. I saw Kevin Durant arguing with people not too long ago. Kevin Durant is a great, great player and great guy. So some kid he played against in high school made a thing that he kicked all of these NBA guys’s butts in high school and he put KD in there. Meanwhile, this guy is like a plumber. So Kevin Durant and this guy are arguing with each other and I am reading this in a newspaper thinking, 'Dude, you are Kevin Durant. Why are you arguing with a plumber? (There’s nothing wrong with being a plumber, I might add) but you are Kevin Durant!' Same thing with RGIII and Colin Kaepernick. I’m like, 'Dudes, why are you arguing with someone on the Internet?' I always use this analogy when it comes to sports fans: Just because you watch Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t mean you can perform an operation."
Kevin Durant to Bill Simmons: Stop bringing up the James Harden trade. Bill Simmons: OKC newspaper piece about the Harden trade leaves out the key point - they didn't have to trade him when they did. http://newsok.com/article/5407507
More than once, Durant has accused Mayberry, the toughest of the Thunder reporters, of angling for a job in a bigger market. Durant is sophisticated about the media, but he’s not above the old trick of using a perceived slight for motivation. On December 8, 2013, Paul George visited Oklahoma City.
Royce Young, who writes for ESPN and DailyThunder.com, also noticed something strange that night. Durant was watching Westbrook from two lockers over. And Durant was laughing.
I asked Mayberry, the Oklahoman beat writer, how many one-on-ones he gets with Durant and Westbrook in a given year. “Zero,” Mayberry said.
“Durant at the All-Star Game said, ‘The media’s not our friends,’” Tramel explained. “Well, he’s right. Nobody on a serious journalism level pretends to be. But with the Thunder, there’s not even an acquaintance. There’s no relationship.” It was a gripe I heard again and again from the Thunder press corps. Nobody held a grudge against Durant or Westbrook. They knew the locker-room scrums would produce a poor harvest. What frustrated the press corps was that the players — especially Durant and Westbrook — remained largely out of reach.
Charles Barkley did two segments on the Dan Patrick Show this morning. When he was asked about Kevin Durant’s new beef with the media, Barkley started talking about the “clowns on the internet.” Then he went on a tangent about how most guys in the media are good guys at heart, but said that there are some “scumbags” like Peter Vecsey, Skip Bayless, and Phil Mushnick. Vecsey’s feud with Barkley dates way back, and Phil Mushnick was bashing Barkley’s ‘role model’ ad in the early 90’s. As for Bayless, Barkley has previously called him a “punk-ass” hater, and opined that the First Taker has “surpassed Vecsey as the biggest jackass in the history of journalism.”
What are your thoughts with all the KD unhappy talk? Is he ready to leave OKC? Does the media bother him that much? I think it was blown up a bit. This season has frustrated him and he's been a bit moody with the media, but I don't think it's something that eats at him and angers him on a consistent basis. He's still usually pretty good with us. And as far as your question about leaving OKC, KD wasn't referring just to the OKC media. When he made the comments, he was in NYC talking to reporters from all over the world. He faces far less media fanfare in OKC, so any harboring hatred of the media shouldn't affect a free agency decision.
Durant was later asked what kinds of questions he'd prefer the media to focus on. "To be honest, man, I'm only here talking to y'all because I have to," Durant said. "So I really don't care. Y'all not my friends. You're going to write what you want to write. You're going to love us one day and hate us the next. That's a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y'all."
Kevin Durant didn't mince words when talking to the media about the media Saturday in New York at All-Star Weekend. "You guys really don't know s---," Durant told reporters. Durant's striking statement came in response to a question about continued speculation about Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks' job security. Brooks has often fallen under media criticism the past few seasons, but Durant has always been quick to defend his coach, noting during his MVP speech that Brooks doesn't get any credit, "even though you deserve all of it."
"You guys vote on the MVP and I think MVP is a lot about narratives and what may happen during that time," Durant said when asked about the difference between a great season and a player having an MVP-type season. "There's a lot of guys that play extremely well for years and years and just starting to get MVP consideration. But I think that consistent play sometimes gets a little boring to people but if you look at a guy like James Harden, he's been doing it for three years, same things and people start to act like it's new. Steph Curry has been doing the same thing for three years and I guess the narrative (is) around their team but what he's been doing is new to everybody," Durant continued. "Once you guys really watch games and realize what these guys have been doing consistently for years, it's nothing new. It's all the same. I guess the hype around it is a little different so... of course everybody gets better but if you stay consistent in what you do it's not like they came out of nowhere."
"We really know these guys inside and out," Durant said of why players should vote for the awards. "There are a lot of guys that deserve Defensive Player of the Year or Sixth Man of the Year but you guys (decide sometimes because) they are not the sexier names. A lot of people will see the names of these players and don't look at the other guys that contribute to our game as well. You guys aren't in the scouting reports, you're not in the team meetings and the film sessions to really break down each player's games. I don't see why you have more power in voting than we do. We are out there on the court playing with them. We appreciate how you guys blow the game up and bring attention to the game but at the same time, to keep it pure, the players should have more say in that stuff."
"I think (the) media gets too much power to vote on stuff like that quite frankly I don't think you really know a lot about as much we know about it," Durant said when asked if MVP winners should be allowed to vote on the MVP like former Heisman Trophy winners are allowed to do with the annual award for the best college football player. "So we play against these guys every single night, we battle against these guys, we know what they say on the court, we know how they handle their teammates, we know how they approach the game, and our votes should count. Our opinions should count," Durant continued. "I don't think you guys know as much we do and I don't see why you have more power than we do."
Chris Palmer: Dude who averages 3 pts & 3 rebs gets 2-year/$8M extension. No wonder they won't make the playoffs. Kevin Durant: @Chris Palmer means a lot coming from a dude who got fired for being a dumbass. Chris Palmer: @Kevin Durant Love that you got your teammates back. But you should get your facts straight.
The Oklahoman has apologized after running a headline that labeled Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant “Mr. Unreliable.” Sports editor Mike Sherman admitted that that newspaper failed with its headline, which appeared in large letters above a photo of Durant surrounded by three members of the Grizzlies. The headline, Sherman said, was “overstated and unduly harsh,” and “left the impression that we were commenting on Durant’s season, career or even character. We were not. We were referring only to the Memphis series.”
December 1, 2020 | 10:01 pm EST Update
Andrew Greif: Joakim Noah has been waived by the Clippers with the expectation that he’ll be retiring from the NBA, league sources confirm to @Brad Turner and me. His contract was set to guarantee on Dec. 22. Brief Clips tenure, but a long NBA career.
New Warriors swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. already got himself a ring. Well … at least his now-fiancé does. The soon-to-be 25-year-old Oubre, who recently was acquired by Golden State, announced his engagement to Shylyn in a really adorable video on Instagram.
During a recent appearance on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles, Kemp recalled a meeting with Bird that has stuck with him to this day. “We were playing the Boston Celtics, so the great Larry Bird. I’m from Indiana and Larry’s from Indiana,” Kemp said. “I knew about the history of Larry but I didn’t realize how he really got down. Larry gave me 50 [points] in three quarters. And he talked to me the whole entire game. He asked me at the jump ball, ‘You’re the one that broke all my records in high school right?’ and I said ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ and he said ‘I’ve got something for you tonight.'”
December 1, 2020 | 9:35 pm EST Update
Adrian Wojnarowski: Clippers are waiving center Joakim Noah — and his agent, Bill Duffy of @BDA Sports, tells ESPN that Noah is “likely headed toward retirement.” One of his era’s most ferocious competitors, Noah played 13 seasons, made two All-Star games and was a 3-time All-Defensive team choice.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Bill Duffy on Noah: “What an illustrious career for Joakim, starting with two national titles at the University of Florida, to becoming an NBA Defensive Player of the Year and ultimately evolving into one of the most passionate, spirited players to ever come through our sport. It’s been my honor to represent Joakim through his journey.”
Eric Walden: Rudy Gobert, on his extension talks: “My goal is to win a championship here, that’s been my goal since I got here, and it still is. … Negotiation talk, that’s why I have an agent. I’ll let him take care of that.”
Eric Walden: Rudy Gobert, on the inability to go big-big last season: “We could feel that sometimes, we lacked a little bit of size. Derrick is a very good defender. … We felt the drop, and we missed his presence. Having Derrick Favors back is fixing a lot of problems.”