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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  42 responses

Tough for Kevin Durant to Be LeBron James’ Olympic Teammate After NBA Finals


The NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat still stings Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who are now teammates with the man who stood between them and an NBA title not too long ago: LeBron James. Per the AP: “Durant admits it bothers him coming to the gym and seeing James every day. ‘It does. It does, but what can I do?’ Durant said Tuesday. ‘He’s my teammate now. I’m a team player. I can’t let that affect this. This is bigger than that. It’s tough to lose in the Finals and play the guy you’ve been going up against for five games who beat you. So me, I’m just going to get over it, still be a great teammate, come out and play hard.’ Kobe Bryant was in Durant’s shoes four years ago, having to shake off the disappointment of a Finals loss to the Boston Celtics and get back out on the court for the Olympics. He said it’s normal to not want to play for a few days, but figures Durant has had enough time to get over it by now. ‘But then again, I wasn’t playing on the Olympic team with, you know, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and Garnett,’ Bryant said. ‘He’s got to look at LeBron every day. I didn’t have to do that. So I don’t know if I could do that. I’d probably be trying to destroy him every single day in practice to try to, I don’t know, take a little of the edge off maybe.’ […]  ’Being the friends thing, I mean that’s fine,’ Bryant said. ‘Once you start playing, I’d really have to go after him. There’s just no way.’ […] Their individual dual created the hype around the Finals. All that matters now is their ability to mesh. ‘It is tough, man, because we just come off a great Finals,’ James said. ‘Our matchup was one of the most profiled matchups in league history, so it’s tough. But at the same time, we understand what we’re here for. We’re going to use our talents, we’re going to use what we know we can do to try to help this team win gold.’”

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  • T-Money

    i bet there won’t be any boot camp at akron u from now on lol.

  • pacman

    Who’s taking the last freaking shot in a tied game is all I wanna know…?

  • pposse

    good, i hope KD shows a mean streak this coming olympics and season and for lbj to take this time and try and solidify himself as the best player. it will all make for good entertainment

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    In other news, it is summer right now.

  • http://9gag.com/gag/4568611 Max

    KD should get the last shot

  • Patrick

    There’s no way Kobe doesn’t get the last shot…right?…right??

  • bike

    Yawn. LBJ – ‘KD won’t speak to me or even look at me. It’s weird, ya know? The other day, when we were showering together, I offered him my soap..and he like refused it. I don’t know. Why can’t we be friends?’

  • Shabbazz

    carmelo anthony should take the last shot

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/10/the-sad-case-of-adam-morrison/ vantot fresnedee

    this is my facebook status right now

  • bigA

    Game tied? Last shot? What are you talking about. We dribble out the shot clock and before that Blake takes the last shot, a off the backboard alley oop.

  • JML-G

    lame ass KD just trying to point out ‘how hard he is working to be humble and beloved’.. queer!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    KD needs to quit it, he had the chance to man up in the NBA Finals and show some emotion. KD showed more emotion at the end of the NBA Finals hugging his mom, than on the court. KD needed to play like a killer and forget about his so called workout buddy friendship with Bron. I contend if KD got mad after Bron fouled him on that last shot and called Lebron out and played mad. OKC win.

  • Byebye

    When the game was in the half court kd couldn’t score cuz Miami was being real physical with him
    But when they ran oh boy he was a monster. You can be friends and rivals at the same time
    Jerry rice used to work out with players all the time in San Fran

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

    So 30 pts per game on 54% shooting isn’t killing it? Miami was just the better team.

  • Drig

    Just wanted to point out it was hyped to be an individual duel…..

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    T-Ray knows the game. The Seed can’t respect a great performance.
    Seed…look in the statBOOK at Kobes numbers when he was outplayed by KD in the semis.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    ^^^T-Ray and L.E.
    KD performance was great to you, when he did not come through in clutch moments and did not play with any fire or emotion. Westbrook played with more fire than KD did that series. Its more than just shooting percentage for an NBA Finals win. Check the stats on MJ shooting percentages in big games and NBA Finals, You will be surprised. Those numbers mean nothing about KD shooting at 54%, when they LOSE!!!

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

    I totally agree that about percentage but I don’t think KD’s “lack of fire” was the reason why they lost. Westbrook played with fire and a lot of times got his team burned in crucial moments. Playing with raw emotion is not always the best for certain players because it can hinder the player.

  • 23

    lol at whoever thinks that usa will play a game that comes down to the final possesion!

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

    Don’t be surprised 23 it got real close in the gold medal game against Spain in 08. But then Kobe happened.

  • pposse

    T-Ray, Kobe AND DWade happened… cosign seed it sure did look like Westbrook played wit ten times more heart than anyone on the OKC squad and no stat will ever show that.

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

    Agreed pposse
    DWade was a very important piece to the team and was the leading scorer.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Kobe will take the last shot of course.
    After that Durant gets the Nod

  • dungeon family

    It won’t even come down to the last shot……..

  • T-Money

    i blame skip bayless for making the masses think that the most important ability in basketball is the willingness, under any circumstance, to take a contested low percentage shot if you have the ball with less than 24 seconds to go in a one-possession game. how about running a play and letting options develop? you know, actual basketball.

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

    T$ you know better than that. You know internet logic and mass media are always right. How dare you try to use your logic about the game on this thread. Smh

  • FnF

    “It won’t even come down to the last shot…,” says the 1972 Men’s Basketball team.

  • LA Huey

    Miami was the better team because they executed their game plan the best. Let’s not act like there’s some tragic flaw with Durant to blame for their loss.

  • AiRsMiTh

    boo hoo

  • AiRsMiTh

    In all seriousness though. I don’t really care much for KD (or Harden’s flopping), but I have tons of respect for him. At least LeBron and KD are mature superstars.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    ^^ Are you saying that Andre Blatche is not a mature superstar?

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com Kholiday

    Anything for a story that involves Durant and Lebron. Anybody ask Westbrook how he feels? How about Harden? And Chandler for that matter because Lebron and the Heat beat him senseless in the first round.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    T-money, teams often run that kind of offense at the end of games because that is the best way to control WHEN to shoot. Whether its always the best option I don’t know but teams don’t want to run a play and give the other team a chance to tie or win the game when they get the ball back.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    so people don’t seem to understand what a hypothetical question is

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Although Skip is clueless and is there purely to create controversy. Time management is the real reason teams run these end of game iso plays.

  • pposse

    although i would like to agree AllBall, i think the real reason a lot of teams runs iso’s at the end of games is because the players, coaches want the added advnantage of having the refs make tough calls, more so than time management. How many times have seens players like Billups ISO and then shot fake the defender trying to get the ref to call a foul before a shot attempt is even put up? I mean cmon! these are professionals who go to practice, if they are not aware of time management as related to running plays and end of game situations then they should’nt be playing bball in the first place!

  • http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/david_aldridge/07/09/morning-tip-free-agency/index.html Allenp

    Another explanation is that with more moving parts comes the chance for more things to go wrong for the offense, not just the defense.
    Coaches have to really trust their players ability to handle pressure and make good choices in order to run something intricate. That’s why only a few teams in the League do it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    a lot of times, end of games break into isolation festivus because players like to be heroes. There are some coaches who do prefer isolations (right Scott Brooks?) but there are others, (Whoever Coaches Kobe Bryant for example) who are pretty much helpless in dictating end of game offense.

  • T-Money

    i’m not talking about a motion offense with 10 seconds to go but just something a little bit harder to defend than a 1-4 low. miami did it very well last year with a wade-bron pick n roll where lebron would post up at the free throw line after his roll, bosh would dive to the basket, battier would spot up in the corner and chalmers would come behind wade at the 3-point line as wade is attacking. that’s not a complicated play, you have the ball in the hands of your most shifty ball handler and all 5 players are legitimate threats. miami hit all of those options in crunch time at various points during their title run. why limit yourself to an iso play?

  • AiRsMiTh

    Lol, @Nick Tha Quick. Where’d that come from? @ Kholiday, I don’t think the media cares about Harden or Westbrook much (unless they’re part of some story/photo shoot with Kevin). Guess no one matters on Team USA, unless their name is either Kevin Durant, LeBron, Kobe, and/or maybe Carmelo.

  • http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/david_aldridge/07/09/morning-tip-free-agency/index.html Allenp

    I can see your point T_money and agree. But based on what I’ve seen, coaches are extremely risk averse and resistant to change.
    So they do what they’ve always done.

  • http://Yahoo GOOD

    Please tell Westbrook to past the ball!

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