Quantcast
Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 11:20 am  |  71 responses

LeBron James Wants Kevin Durant to Shoot the Ball More for Team USA


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Kevin Durant is unquestionably the NBA’s best scorer. That has been the case for 3 of his 5 seasons in the League. Ergo, that makes him the best scorer in the galaxy, which includes the Olympics.

There’s just one little problem: Kevin Durant, surrounded by an enormous amount of talent and firepower on Team USA, has become a tad gunshy. And LeBron James wants Durant to get back to his old ways.

James (among others) is strongly urging his Olympic teammate to shoot, and shoot often.

From the Charlotte Observer:

Kevin Durant, the scoring champ in question, has not played in an Olympics before. Like any newcomer, he wants to be liked. So time and again during the U.S. team’s brief time together this year, Durant has passed up the sort of open shots that he drills with the Oklahoma City Thunder. “I told KD (Durant) to just be himself,” LeBron James said Sunday after Durant led the U.S. with 22 points and added nine rebounds in a game that was only close for one quarter. “On a team like this you can kind of shy away because there are so many great players here. But KD’s on this team for a reason. He’s one of the best players the world has and he’s a three-time scoring champ. So we don’t want the KD that defers. We want the KD that he is in Oklahoma City.”

James’ cry for Durant to put the ball up more often has been echoed around the team. When Kobe Bryant was asked what he said to Durant during the game, Bryant replied gruffly: “Shoot the … ball.” Said Durant: “Sometimes coach was screaming at me. And Chris Paul was screaming at me more than anybody, ‘Shoot the ball!’ I guess I’ve got to be aggressive.”

Russell Westbrook could not be reached for comment, I’m assuming. Kidding!

Until the Americans are met with a real challenge – say, a particularly determined squad from Argentina or Spain — KD can defer to his teammates all he wants. One suspects that Durant won’t shy away from putting away an opponent by shooting the ball when it really matters.

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , , ,

  • LA Huey

    Only 5 years in the L and already a 3x scoring champ. Geez…

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    It’s funny, during the season, everyone was saying the ONLY thing missing from KD’s box score was his assists. Now that he’s looking to get others involved they’re telling him to shoot more. Can’t please everybody I guess.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Durant should never defer to anyone in the world. Ever. Particularly in international play with that short three point line and the inability of any foreign player to match his combination of size and skill. He’s the most difficult player for foreign teams to handle because they can’t lay off him and let him shoot, they don’t have the foot speed most of the time to play him close, and they lack the athletic ability or height to contest his jumper. Honestly, there aren’t many cats in the NBA who can do all those things, which is why he kills there too, but in FIBA there are even fewer people. He’s amazing to watch, and the way he kills everyone only makes it more impressive that Bron was able to make him work somewhat to get his buckets in the Finals.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Man…. Ima celtics fan if you didn’t know but I’m about to be the biggest lbj fan on the planet. This man is so unselfish, its crazy. Pure winner.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NIQ
    During the season he had a different sort of team. NBA squads would key on him as a scorer and load up their defenses to stop that, which made it imperative that he learn how and when to create off the bounce.
    Against FIBA, they can’t load up on him because of all the other talent on the floor, so just like with Melo, all he has to concentrate on is getting buckets. LeBron and the point guards can handle running the team and setting people up, Durant only has to concentrate on scoring at will. Different situation, different expectations.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @Allenp. Yea I get that. And I do believe he should shoot the lights on in London with the shorter 3 point line. I was just saying its funny. But from what I saw in the Finals, I think Durant will be even better next season.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    *lights out

  • Riggs

    They should make him the designated 3 point shooter because everyone else but him and I think Kobe is shooting terribly from the 3pt line.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHOLIDAY

    KD needs to do him. Says a lot when Lebron is telling you to shoot more on a team with Kobe and Carmelo, who IMO, along with KD are the most talented scorers in the league.

  • bike

    Durant could easily average 50+ points/game against this level of competition if they would let him. For at least one game, they should let him go off and smash every Olympic scoring record.

  • TV63

    This is really cool article.we’re seeing another dynamic to all these great players. It’s awesome. LBJ understand all too well about deferring when you have other superstars on team. He’s addressing it fast and not messing around on this. Good for him.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    This is sad and my view of KD not playing with fire and having the killer mentality is correct. How can a player that just PUNKED you to cry to your mom on TV, now is telling you to be more aggressive in an game. This is funny, Lebron was probably laughing at KD during the NBA Finals too, saying why is this guy not being aggressive with us, he must think we friends right now. KD needs some fire and heart. This is funny,LOL.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    I think Durant doesn’t want to step on any toes. In 2010 he was without a doubt the best player on that squad. On this team it’s not so clear if he is so I believe he’s trying to carefully pick his spots.

  • Basketball_iQ

    He’s not the best player ok this squad by far, lebron is tours why this is a headline… Bc lebron said it. He understands the importance of getting others involved & letting them do what they do best. I also think if lebron believes in durant’s game this much, he sees where his game is headed, towards being one of the best ever in the next few seasons.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Let just say that KD lacks the heart and fire like most detractors think, he’s still the best scorer the NBA has seen since LA Shaq.
    The crazy thing is that dude is only 23yrs old and already has 3 scoring titles. If he stays healthy, he has a chance at matching or surpassing MJ’s 10 scoring titles which is fully expect him to.

  • Basketball_iQ

    You think westbrook is telling durant to shoot @okc? Hell no… I hope he’s learning. Bc if lbj, the best player in the world, arguably, is telling him to shoot, you need to get with the program as a pg.

  • LA Huey

    Coach K had to tell Durant to play like he does in OKC back in the 2010 World Championships. If KD listens to his elders, that small flicker of hope for Gold that Spain and Argentina had will be extinguished.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    JTaylor21
    Best scorer since Shaq, Wow. Kobe clearly has been the best scorer in the NBA since 2003 to now. Check stats. Plus with his scoring the LA lakers as Kobe as the lead dog went to three straight NBA Finals and won two. KD has no fire and just because you shoot(chuck) to win. I can make a case if KD would have had some FIRE in his veins and was a leader on the team and stop stating he wants Westbrook to shoot more and gets some BALLS, he becomes better. KD lost all credibility with me with his crappy play, he did not rebound, play defense or lead. Westbrook is OKC leader, Period. KD showed more fire hugging his mom,LOL. I just think KD is a fraud and don’t like his mentality, maybe KD needs to get a tatto on his arm so everyone can see to show he is edgy, because they all hidden now. Its like he is in a box and I bet his momma fixes his lunch for him everyday. Bron telling KD to MAN UP. What is America coming too?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Taylor, how many do you think Durant ends up with? I would put the Over/Under at 9. If OKC keeps improving I could see his scoring go down a little. I’d bet LeBron gets at least 1 more before he is past his scoring prime. And these new kids that will be coming into the league are going to be stone cold scorers just like Durant was. This is going to be another golden era in the NBA though, that’s for sure.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Seed, Taylor was referring to how efficiently Durant Scores his big point totals. Not just how many points the guy scores. Oh wait, nevermind. Forgot who I was talking too.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    nbk,
    KD done what so far in the NBA, except choke a NBA Finals and win scoring titles. Kobe should have won the last one. KD will not get more than MJ. KD is not that dude, for a while I thought he was, but he needs Westbrook to lead more than he can lead. Now I understand all of the quotes from KD concerning Westbrooks game, fire and the way he is at a level 3000 play all the time.

  • Royce

    Makes sense. If KD is on the floor, then he should be looking to get buckets. That’s why he is on the team. Why else would you want Durant on the floor?

  • Sérgio

    Absolutely cosign Seed. Kobe may have “only” 2 scoring titles, but, if he wanted, he could’ve had the ones of 2008, 2009 and 2010, only he decided to play more for the team, and also decresead his minutes. And what did he get? 3 Finals trips, 2 titles.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Why would Kobe need scoring titles in 08,09 & 10? He had a championship caliber team those 3 years. He didn’t have to score 30+ for them to win. Hell in Game 7 against Boston he had a terrible night and they still won. Granted the Thunder made the Finals but KD HAD to score for them to have a chance.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wassup Internet losers i’m baaaaaaaack

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Wassup Internet losers I’m baaaaaaaaack

  • LA Huey

    I was curious what the new exhausting narrative would be once LBJ finally won a ring. So instead of “LBJ isn’t clutch”, it’s going to be “KD isn’t a killer”? Amusing.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    nbk, I say 10 or 11. If OKC keeps Ibaka instead of Harden, I am little bit more certain about that prediction but let’s say they keep both, I still don’t see anyone put a real challenge for the next 7-10 yrs for that scoring title. KD is that good of a scorer in my eyes

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LeBron could lead the L in scoring every year if he wanted to.
    Iggy could lead the L in steals every year if he wanted to.
    McGee could lead the L in blocks every year if he wanted to.
    Bird could have lead the L in scoring every year if he wanted.
    None of those things happended, so they are irrelevant in the arguement. I don’t live in a make believe world, either you do or you don’t.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    To whom it may concern, my brother, Black Mamba, not going to give his real name, was killed in a car accident last night. My younger sister and parents are fine, but he did not make it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    The Seed is a loser. Shows no respect to a guy, that always improved his game in five years in the league. He isn’t perfect maybe never will be, but to say that he has no heart after always improving over the last years, winning three scoring titles, Conference finals last year, finals this year is a clear sign of having trouble to recognize game.
    LeBron recognizes KD’s game and evry other guy, that has to play him will always respect him, because of his versatility and clutch scoring.
    But hey Seed I know it’s senseless to talk to you about that.
    Got problems because your guy Kobe wasn’t the one LeBron mentioned?
    One last thing.
    KD is 23. There is alot of time left for him to become more hungry and aggressive.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    This website is getting too weird for me.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Ditto

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    What?!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    L.E.
    you admit KD does need to become more hungry and aggressive. If he was he wins and keeps Bron from being a winner. KD showed no emotion or aggressiveness against anyone on the Heat, Westbrook did. Its funny, a player who beat him is calling him out to be more aggressive. If this is any other player yall are killing him. Just because its the good boy imaged KD, everybody jumping to rubberbands defense.

  • LA Huey

    It’s hilarious when critics speak in the abstract and generalizations. Basically, they’ll always be right and never wrong because they never actually cite any specifics as to what they can do.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    WTF! I’m not dead. Is this my brother? I was in an accident last night but somebody hit the bumper of my car and left a scratch! I didn’t die.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    it has to be your brother. who else would know you were in an accident last night? you got other friends on the Slam Boards?

  • Sérgio

    Also, I don’t think KD will surpass Jordan in scoring titles, and not even Wilt. Actually, I’d bet that Kevin Love is the next scoring champ. And Carmelo will surely be at leat once the leader in PPG.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    No I don’t have any others here that I know of. I’ll go check his laptop. he just went to a friend’s house and left it here.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    Ok I checked and it was him. He’s so stupid he just left the nbk name in his box. And you know what else? The entire time that he was trolling you, he typed your name in the box, SLAM didn’t give him your name. He even typed his own email. nbk@miniclip.com LOL WTF. Anyways I changed his name to “fu*k you Brandon”

  • JL

    So you guys prefer Westbrook with all that fire shooting him team to a loss vs KD efficiently scoring the ball and exuding less emotion. Stop judging players by their appearances but by their results! KD has improved every year he has been in the league. You don’t do that if you don’t have the fire. His game has progressed more than Lebron’s has over a longer period (5 vs 9). Not saying he is better overall, just that he has gotten better. Lebron’s game is so dominant he really just needed a better 3 pt shot and post game. He’s a decent 3 pt shooter now and just starting to post up. But we are nitpicking here. None of the players are perennial all stars if they don’t have the fire.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    Senseless.
    I just want you to give credit where credit is due. He ain’t a choker, his mom isn’t fixing his lunch for him and he isn’t the way you want him to be
    He killed your lakers thats the only problem you have with him.
    Last year you where badmouthing Dirk now it’s KD. I see a sheme in that.
    Period. I will no longer comment on that.

  • bike

    I sincerely hope KD never ever visits this website.

  • http://www.stillonthebench.blogspot.com TR

    LeBron’s really taken on the leadership role this year. Definitely the leader on this squad and running the show

  • elmaar

    Word up, L.E.
    But the thing is we shouldn’t be replying to those as you just said senseless commenters on here which somehow always happen to be purple and gold homers.
    Let them sink deep in the retardation.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    man, your brother is crazy

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    L.E.
    Dirk choked this year like I stated all last summer and will never win a ring again. I told yall he was a one hit wonder. KD needs some fire, next year yall will see. BOOK IT!!

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    if you think Dirk choked because he didn’t win with that team you are a certified moron. USDA certified.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    What did Kobe do????

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    Kd jumper has been money this summer, he should definitely shoot more.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Got swept by Dirk.
    But it wasn’t Kobe’s fault. It’s never Kobe’s fault.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    This summer?^
    Dirk didn’t “choke” this year. He just had a lousy year( by Superstar standards).
    Kobe choked more than Dirk or KD in this year in the playoffs. Fact.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    That was @ Ric. Implying, KD’s jumper has been wet for a minute now.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    Cosign nbk @4:45. Dirk didn’t choke this year because the Mavs never were in close games because they suck

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    So you all predict Dirk will be back great right and KD choked on the big stage to me and others. Just because yall are believing Westbrook was the problem is wrong. KD had no fire and his emotion was the best hugging his mom, maybe KD needs to play with his backpack on. I am done. Why yall talking about Kobe, he played bad in the last two minutes of two of the OKC games. I admit that, LA went to three straight NBA Finals, come on yall he has produced. KD let the world down. Excuse for Dirk right yall, blame the team, he came back into the NBA out of shape and does not want it anymore. watch the games I did. KD needs to man up. PERIOD!!

  • http://Slamonline.com FU*K YOU BRANDON

    Very very sad bout my bro. But guess what Internet nerd geeks I’m baaaaaaaaack

  • http://Slamonline.com F YOU BRANDON

    Real nbk is more of a troll than me

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    Seed
    One more try to get you back to reality.
    You can’t judge Dirk as a one hit wonder, because his Championship team, some of the biggest pieces, wasn’t resigned and Dirk and his team never had the chance to show what is left in the tank.
    Sorry but that is true and I can’t understand how you make such flat statements on a sport that is so complex.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    What has his bagpack and a intense hug with his mum to do with playing basketball. You do stupid statements and nobody is taking you serious.
    I just mentioned Kobe and asked you what he did last year takes him out of your discussion about losers.
    I wasn’t even talking about Kobe. The only one talking and hating about guys is you and one day you will realize. I hope.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    once the Mavericks roster was set for this year nobody thought they’d be competing for anything Seed. Anyway, haven’t you been a seed for a while now? Shouldn’t you be a budding plant by now? Or a full on stupid tree?

  • LA Huey

    I assumed his alias was a euphemism for semen.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Man, I just thought LeBron made Durant work and the Heat as a team played him tough every game. I didn’t see any problems with his “fire”. He always has a calm demeanor, his demeanor was calm when he was destroying everyone else in the playoffs.
    LeBron was the better player, the Heat were the better team. That’s it. I mean, LeBron flipped the big boy switch in the playoffs and no one else on the planet could match him at this point. Doesn’t mean Durant won’t be able to match him next year or the year after that, or even that LeBron will be able to flip that switch again.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    It’s funny how France has 1 player that can effectively play the PG position. (2 if you have to count Diaw)
    The U.S. has 6-7 players.
    1.CP3
    2.D-Will
    3.RussWest
    4.LBJ
    5.Iggy
    6.James Harden
    7. Kobe, Durant, Anthony Davis all would run the point better than anyone else France has outside TP and Diaw.
    Just re-watched LBJ hit that sick turn around jumper in the 2nd.
    Slickness.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    lol @ stupid tree

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Why is it that Lebron rarely gets mentioned when people talk about the best scorers in the league? His efficiency is off the charts, he’s basically unguardable at this point, he can score from anywhere on the floor while playing any position, his best scoring year was better than Durant’s best, and he has one of the highest scoring averages ever for his career so far (third or fourth all-time, if I’m not mistaken).

  • the king

    @ dagger dam i was just thinking that

  • Bernie

    The seed hatin Durant like it didn’t take lbj 9 years to get a ring. This was KDs third trip to the playoffs and you honestly expect them to win it all? OKC is damn good and constantly improving. They played so bad against Dallas in the conference finals and look what they did this year. They’ll get better. I don’t think melo will ever get a scoring title id be surprised if Lebron and Kevin love didn’t though

  • BallsDeep

    Ya’ll are f**ked. I was seriously sad when I thought Mamba was dead, not coz of any other reason than you don’t want to see a fellow blogger killed. but then of course, it’s bullshizen. Typical. I agree with *** that Durant should score like a Junky in NYC and set some Olympic records, coz no-one anywhere in the world can guard him, a seven-footer with range, c’mon.
    And Lakeshow, you sir, are what we call, in my country, a wanker. Can you go a sentence w/out jumping all over Kobe’s balls. I bet even Kobe is creeped out at yr ‘enthusiasm’.
    Peace (except LakeShow)

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    @ballsdeep. I hope you feel better knowing I’m alive and well.

  • Triple double

    The Seed is either just winding people up to get a reaction, or, he is 12, or he knows nothing about the nba. Maybe all three if those. Seed, please never spread your Seed. Your weak. WEAK.

Advertisement