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Saturday, August 11th, 2012 at 12:42 pm  |  110 responses

Kevin Durant on Dwight Howard Trade: ‘I Really Don’t Care’


by Ryne Nelson / @slaman10

After helping Team USA crush Argentina—and move into Sunday’s Gold-medal game—Kevin Durant didn’t have much to say about another Dream Team, the one being assembled in L.A.

Sitting at the post-game interview room in London, KD was asked about his thoughts on the blockbuster Dwight Howard trade. How will the Thunder match-up against the Lakers? How can four future Hall of Famers be stopped? What was he thinking?

“I really don’t care,” Durant said.

As expected, Durant simply is shrugging his shoulders at the trade. The Thunder have a serious challenger in the West. But that won’t shake KD.

The Thunder are still champs in the West. Durant is still the greatest scorer in basketball. Bring on the challengers.

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  • fitzy

    gonna be a good season next year! lots of storylines!

  • KBthaKilla

    The Durantula don’t give a SHIT!

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    why should he? the thunder are still better. who on the lakers should guard him, harden or westbrook?

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

    Somehow this is news that we should argue about endlessly.

  • Björn Atli

    the Lakers can probably get away with having an old backcourt with Dwight and Pau in the front. Westbrook getting past Nash every time isn’t necessarily gonna equal easy buckets.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    You can’t really say the Thunder are still better when we don’t know how the starting lineup of Kobe/Nash/Gasol/Artest/Howard play yet.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    I believe mr Durant does care, a in-confrence opponent just infused a load of talent, experience, defense and offense into an already established championship core. BTW, I wonder what the precise words were that were used in the question, because ‘I really don’t care’ comes off as really defensive, especially for a laid back guy like KD. It only makes it sound like he IS worried. If he would’ve said something along the lines of:’that’s a great trade for them and it’s nice for Dwight to have this whole situation over with and they’re going to be tough next year as always’ that would’ve sounded alot more confident and less defensive.

  • bravo

    Thunder wont be able to stop l.a

  • Brainwashers

    People who love basketball and aren’t Laker fans already hate the Lakers because…people who don’t know jacksh)t about basketball but love celebrities love the Lakers. Teenage girls root for the Lakers for the same reason as everyone else — because they do what the media tells them.

  • blue

    Clearly he should care a little, and probably does. But KD is still the best player in the western conference, thats gonna count for something when the playoffs start

  • Bobitto

    He shouldn’t be worried. Why did Kendrick Perkins get such a large contract? Because he can stop Dwight Howard from being effective. Who’s gonna guard Westbrook when OKC’s big 3 is out there? No more sessions= no quick PG’s on the roster and putting Kobe on him most likely leaves KD and Harden with mismatches. KD shouldn’t fret much.

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

    ^Not the best player in the western conference anymore……

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

    Everyone’s a pssychiarist, even without actually hearing him say it. If he says he doesn’t care it’s because that’s how he feels right now. He’s probably more concerned about Harden and the future of his own team.

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

    Durant is better than Dwight

  • Keezy

    Its okay KD, you can win it when Kobe retires.. Thats if Mitch doesn’t rebuild around Dwight Howard already ;)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    U do realize Dwight hasn’t signed an extension..right? Lol

  • Blamo

    Thank you KD

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    people act now as if the lakers didnt have an inside presence before. howard is an upgrade over bynum but not that much. bynum is also a 7 footer and not such a bad shotblocker. sure, dwight is a bit faster but essentially there wont change much on the interior.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I wouldn’t care either if I was KD. Love his attitude. Dwight will miss at least a month of the regular season. He’s lost a lot of weight that he’ll have to get back whenever he’s able to lift again. The Thunder have nothing to fear. Who on LA’s roster can deal with Durant, Westbrook and Harden? No one. Dwight will be in foul trouble with Westbrook blowing by Nash or Kobe and getting to the rim. Going to be fun to watch.

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    Lakers still have the same coach. I’m not convinced, that they can win it all. It will be an interesting season.

  • Keezy

    @danpowers Dwight is a HUGE upgrade over Bynum, because he fits in the princeton offense WAY better. Bynum isn’t a pick and roll player, and thats what nash thrives in. Now Steve has TWO pick & roll weapons with Dwight and Gasol. Plus, Dwight doesn’t swallow possessions like Bynum did.He’s the better counterpart to Gasol.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Gotta cosign Nick Tha Quick on this one.

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

    ts not close in terms of Defense, he’s the single most dominant force on Defense in the League. He won three DPOY for a reason, you saying there interior presence on the defensive end wont change “that much” is asinine. Their dreadful attempts at defending the PnR just got much better,Dwight basically improves every aspect of their defense.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    ^^exactly. lakers offensive versatility just went wayy up. they can run, they can pound the ball inside, their p&r options have tripled. and when people blow by nash and kobe…… they’ll run straight into dwight.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    A YOUNG DURANTULA DONT GIVE A F*CK ABOUT YOUR TRADE NIGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • Heals

    No way Nick, there’s just no way. We’re gonna hafta agree to disagree about that. Wait I think that means you’re right…

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @keezy: im not so sure if that update is that huge. only if bynum continues to get hurt and howard stays healthy. if both stay healthy then bynum will also be a 20-10 ceenter to go with smth around 2bpg. as i said, sure howard is an update, but not as much as bynum. what howard can do better on the pick and roll does bynum with post moves and a better touch around his rim. plus he doesnt rely that much on his athleticism as howard does.

  • greg

    nash is just as bad as jameer nelson, redick, hedo, and j rich defensively and dwight still had orlando as an elite defensive team every year

  • Fat Lever

    People were going crazy when the lakers got Malone and GP to team up with Kobe and shaq in ’04. Different scenario, but not by much. Kobe, Nash, and pau are up there in age. Plainly put, it takes a TEAM in sync w/ one another to win. These guys have to mesh.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    what makes howard such a good defender besides blocking and challenging is his pick and roll defense and sure he is the best defensive big guy out there. during the season some teams will use the pick and roll on the lakers when they are running their regular plays and no doubt a healthy dwight will be once more the most likely guy to win dpoy honors. i just dont see why teams should do that in the post season, when most guards and wings can simply go by nash, mwp and some also go by bryant. in this case i dont think that there is such a big difference between having bynum or howard there.

  • cepillo

    he’ll also not care when they get eliminated by L.A. next season

  • Dagger

    On offense, the problem for the Lakers was not a lack a talent but rather a lack of desire or ability to work through and go to that talent. Kobe is saying all the right things now but how will he feel if and when Nash is handling the ball and the offense works through Howard in the post? And mike brown, how’s that Princeton offense looking?

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    On my mama I hope Dwight Howard tears a few ligaments in his knee…….yeah im salty

  • King

    Y’all keep forgetting that kobe needs 30 shots a game

  • KobeJR

    the only reason he shot 30 a gsme was that he didn’t have much help ,session didn’t do anything in the playoffs and steve blake and MWP

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    KD is the 2nd best player in the L therfore making him better than Howard.

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

    Naw, Dwight is still better than KD. The impact he has on the game itself is still greater than KD’s.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    KD is the undisputed best offensive weapon in the NBA. The same can not be said for Howard when it comes to the defensive end because I can make a case for LeBron not Howard as the L’s best defensive player.
    You’re free to make your own opinion but KD’s #2 and Howard #3.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    KD impacts the game from start to finish offensively and is beginning to become a better defender. He rebounded better than LeBron did this past season. At the end of games, if Dwight isn’t in foul trouble and he’s on the floor, you can’t give him the ball because he can’t make free throws. KD is a better overall player in my opinion. Dwight’s only impact at the end of games is defense if he’s not in foul trouble. On the Lakers, Dwight should be 3rd option behind Gasol and Kobe (if Kobe’s smart he’ll finally let Gasol do what he can in the post). How can a guy who’s the 3rd option on his team be the best player in the conference? There should be no fear going to the basket even with Dwight in there. Durant/Westbrook will try to dunk on whoever’s in the lane.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    @JTaylor Yes. LeBron has a bigger impact defensively for a full game than Dwight does. He can guard every position effectively.

  • tavoris

    substitute Nash for someone that can stay in front of Westbrook, and then he would care. Until then, the Lakers are still gonna be sitting around watching Durant, Harden and Westbrook shoot free throws.

    Oh, and the Thunder still have the only 2 guys who guard Howard effectively-Perkins and Collison.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    i think you cant really compare players on this level when they dont play the same position. both are playing on an extremely high level. both players impact on their respective teams is valuable and their play will allways be a big factor in their teams success. i think they are both the best two players behind james, but in no specific order

  • MO

    I’m getting tired of people acting like Dwight is gonna erase everything that comes to the basket after Westbrook, Hardedn, and Durant blows past the laker defenders. U can’t possibly play the game like that and say, “Oh, Dwight will clean up our mistakes.” No. That will eventually lead to foul trouble for Dwight or the laker defense being out of position due to their rotations once westbrook blows by Nash. Or the same with durant and harden.

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

    Now Jt, you yourself always say we place too much emphasis on Offense and not enough on defense. And you can make an argument that Kd is not the best OFFENSIVE weapon because its more than just scoring, that title could arguably go to Lebron as well when you consider his efficiency and the fact that he can be just as explosive scoring wise as Kd at times, not to mention he’s one of the best passers this league has to offer. Now Kd is the best scorer but he’s not head and shoulders above a guy like Lebron. Dwight on the other Hand Protects the paint unlike anyone in this league and can make an impact in more ways than just scoring the ball(which he can do as well, of course not as effectively but still gets the job done). You can make an argument for Lebron but Lebron plays for a team that has good defenders that can make just as many p[lays defensively as him at times, Dwight on the other hand has virtually made Orlando a good defensive team playing alongside the likes of Fierce defenders like nelson, richardson, Hedo, and Ryan Anderson so I don’t think Lebron would come out on top of that argument unlike with the OFFENSIVE force argument.

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

    @ByAnyMeansNecessary….Yes Kd affects the game from start to finish offensively but Dwight doesn’t do the same on the Defensive end? Lets not make it seem as if Dwight is so inept on the offensive end either, You can say Dwight cant make free throws at the end of the game like that’s some Huge flaw, but KD was so bad at guarding Lebron at times they had to switch Sefolosha on him and If I’m not mistaken Chalmers(who is a mediocre/above average Pg) was Blowing pass Kd consistently in the finals, so he has improved defensively but he still has a ways to go. Dwight is undoubtedly more of a complete player than KD and like I stated previously, He can affect the game in more ways than Just scoring but he can also do that as well. His impact on the game is still greater than KD’s right now, maybe not in the near future.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Slick Ric, HA! Got me on that one.
    Great points but like I said…it all depends on personal preference. Don’t get me wrong, Howard is an elite defender but I’m not as high on him defensively as the rest of the basketball world is so maybe that’s why I have KD ahead of him.

  • http://Slamonline.com Black Mamba

    KD and Lebron are awesome. They are just so focused. One on one I think Lebron could beat Jordan. I think Lebron’s power would get to MJ. But overall MJ is better.

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

    Its close JT, I can understand anybody saying KD is better than Dwight especially after leading his team to the finals last season, I just dont think he’s there yet IMO.

  • Ctk

    Put KD at PF it takes a big off the court for LA ….Lakers have no answer for that …Memphis more a threat to OKC than Lakers

  • Bernie

    You all rather have Durant on your team and you know it. The best defensive players can’t stop him yet someone like perkins can do a good enough job on someone like Dwight Bynum or chandler to get them in foul trouble or make their game less effective

  • http://nba.com EJ

    @Ctk: basketball is played at both ends of the court, so how are KD and Ibaka/Perkins going to defend Pau and Dwight inside?

  • Ctk

    @EJ with Gasol bein the third or fourth option …Gasol wont be n the block enuff to take advantage of KD ..with the PnR bein ran ..Gasol will be 16-20ft away from the basket to make space…We ALL KNOW BUSS gon do WHATEVER it takes to make Dwight happy worryin bout life after Kobe..Perkins can guard Howard one on one

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    @Slick Ric I’d say Dwight not being able to make free throws is a flaw when the so called best player in the conference is useless in the fourth quarter on the offensive end. Howard isn’t as game changing on defense as KD is on offense. Durant averaged 30 points on 50% shooting in the Finals. If LeBron can’t keep him from doing what he wants to do with the ball, no one can. On the other hand, Dwight is prone to being in foul trouble. It’s much easier to handle Dwight on defense than it is to disrupt Durant on offense. I’d say Dwight is a better overall player if he had a more diverse offensive game than he does. I still say if you’re looking for the best defensive player in the league, I’m looking at the guy who can guard every position. That’s LeBron James.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Perkins defends Dwight better than anyone else in the league. It’s easy to frustrate him and Perkins is great at it. Ibaka is a better off the ball defender than on the ball defender, but unless Kobe changes his game after 16 years of playing one way, Pau still won’t be seeing the ball as much as he should anyway. All of this hinges on Kobe letting Nash run the team the way it should be run. There’s no reason why Kobe should average more than 20 shots on this team. A comfortable 24 a night is all that is needed from him. No reason why Pau shouldn’t be at 18/10 and Dwight 23/13.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @ByAnyMeansNecessary: you forgot to mention that kd also had 3,8 turnovers per game to 2.2 assists a game. if we talk about offensive impact we shouldnt forget that he still has to improve some aspects. howards poor free throw shooting isnt that much of a weakness. we saw against gs that this strategy doesnt work coz he still scores more than the everage point per posession rate when he gets fould every posession. also shaq dominated without a reliable free throw percentage. well, howard isnt half as good as shaq was but due to a lack of competition on the 5 he is still fine. there are many pros and cons about weather howard or durant are even. id really call it a draw. id chose durant over howard though to start a new franchise

  • Jose

    i’d be worried about it, but after the olympics are over. . .not now.

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

    1. I never said his FT shooting wasn’t a flaw, I merely said its not as big as a deal as you’re making it out to be by saying he’ll be USELESS in the 4th quarter because he’s a 50% FT shooter…you’ve been watching too much Skip bayless. Very hyperbolic statement you made… SMH

    2. Durant is more of a game changer on the offensive end than Dwight on Defense? How can you make such an statement as if KD has a complete offensive game Like Lebron Has? …..Dwight’s defense dominates a game from post to rebounding to Patrolling the paint to defending PnR.

    3. Again, Lebron is not the best defender, He does not bare the responsibility that Dwight does….Sure he can switch off on guys but people seem to forget that this guy has Wade, Chalmers, Anthony, battier and Bosh, all of which who are in no way slackers on the defensive end and give him PLENTY help. Dwight on the other hand made a team full of weak/mediocre defenders a respectable defensive team.

    4. Like I previously stated, Dwight still impacts the game more than Durant who still has a ways to go on improving the defensive, play making and even rebounding parts of his game since he’s over 6’10 and the best SCORER not OFFENSIVE player which would be Lebron.

  • Allenp

    I think Slick Ric won the argument. Dont know if I agree with him but he won the argument.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    If you’re talking offense, you have to include both scoring and playmaking. So, as far as offensive weapons are concerned, I’ll take Lebron’s combination of playmaking and scoring over Durant’s scoring. Also: there’s a difference between having the biggest impact on a game and being the best player.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    the main difference between durant and howard is that defenses can deny him the ball. thats easier to do with post than with perimeter players. there is only one player in the nba who can (and does) effectively deny durant the ball and his name is russell westbrook

  • Andre anglais

    ” I don’t care; I’m in London representing my country and I play for a gold medal tomorrow. Don’t distract me with that other ish”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @danpowers, Wow dude. The stuff you’re spewing is just…..facepalm-worthy.

  • Corky

    Who’s going to stop Westbrook?

    Himself…and he’ll have a hand in stopping Durant as well with his moronic insistence on being the #1 option.

    And, is Westbrook going to “stop” Nash?

    The real question is who’s going to stop Kobe, Gasol or Howard with a point guard like Nash running the show? Nash had those bums in Phoenix looking like credible players. What do you guys think the result is going to be with the offensive options he has now?

    “Perkins can guard Howard one on one” Yes, though not effectively. I still absolutely amazed that career 6 and 6 bum gets all of these accolades when I consistently see him miss easy buckets and get his head handed to him. Those scowls he makes must be hypnotizing, I guess.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    With all due respect to my good SLAM brethren…
    There are two players one on one. Of All Time.
    Michael Jordan.
    Allen Iverson.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    The King cannot guard Jordan.
    No one in the History of the Game can guard Michael Jordan.
    Defenses are designed to guard Jordan. To no avail.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Wow, people act like Lebron is a defensive stopper now, and is better than Howard on defense. Alot of yall must do not know basketball, Lebron is 6’9, 260. He is not guarding he is staying in front of people. Now since Lebron wow, yall act like he guarded KD and shut him down. KD shot over 50%, avearged 30pts, but played with no Fire. Now KD talking like he big man, he is a funny dude. If I was his friend, agent, he cries to his mom, but they need to get him to hit gym. KD can’t guard anything. He is long and uses that. Yall acting like Lebron can guard like Ron Harper, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. Come on people. Howard took a crappy team to the NBA Finals with his defense. Imagine what he will do with the Lakers. Some of yall are in denial, because of what the Lakers have now. Lakers went to THREE STRAIGHT NBA FINALS WITH BYNUM GETTING LESS THAN 10PTS AND 10REBOUNDS A GAME, WHAT YALL THINK KOBE AND COMPANY WILL DO WITH HOWARD. Really, people think OKC is better WHEN OKC WAS DOUBLING KOBE AND NOBODY STEPPED UP. YOU DOUBLE KOBE NOW, IF YOU DUMB, Nash can hit the three, Howard can get a layup. Man some of yall off, Lakers gave away 2 games to OKC, maybe 3, if you look back at the series. Kobe got the NBA Finals with Gasol and Bynum, so now he will not get to the NBA Finals with Nash, Gasol and Howard. WOW-What is America Coming Too?

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @BlackPhantom: that stuff about that its more work to give post players the ball in position than perimeter players is basic basketball knowledge and one of the best coaches of all time, phil jackson, said that too when being asked about the difference at coaching the jordan bulls and the shakobe lakers. that westbrook denying durant the ball was jus a joke u facepalm nerd. jus imagine durants scoring average with a pg like paul, rondo or williams. jus sayin

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    @danpowers
    KD denies himself the ball, because Westbrook plays with more fire than KD and wants the ball to score. Thunder goes the way Westbrook plays, not KD. KD is a jumpshooter and he is not always on, example NBA FINALS. Westbrook is the key to why the Thunder beat my Lakers, check stats and games in clutch. Also KD is being overrated, what does KD do, besides score–Nothing. KD needs to be called out for not averaging more rebounds and assists. Can’t blame everything on Westbrook, he is the key to the Thunders success. Alot of players, coaches and NBA analyst like Ric Bucher have stated this too. The KD koolaide is gone, man he had his chance to prove himself and choked. KD playing better in Olympics than he did in NBA Finals, I bet he got more rebounds average and blocks in Olympics with average than NBA Finals.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    In the clutch, Westbrook almost always defers to Durant.
    This is true.
    Even against the Lakers in The Playoffs.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Kd didn’t get any easy buckets & it didn’t help he had westbrook low iQ having’az on his team. Lebron fight him off the block making him catch it near the 3pt areas. It affected his game & he got 30 a night bc who else was gonna get shoot it besides he & westbrook?

  • Basketball_iQ

    Kd’s idc sounds a bit, jealous, if you ask me.. “I’m stuck with westbrook & this fool gets howard?” Westbrook is the only player that doesn’t fit on this usa squad… He’s looking extra meek where durant & cp3, both whom dumb a$$es here say he is comparable too caring a team wise.. I hope he’s learned to pass the ball watching “LEBRON” of all people defer to durant on the court & in the paper
    Howard will r-sign in La… Its his off seasonretreat..makes sense. & okc was barelybetter than La in my eyes… Howard putsthem back I’ve the top.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Kd’s idc sounds a bit, jealous, if you ask me.. “I’m stuck with westbrook & this fool gets howard?” Westbrook is the only player that doesn’t fit on this usa squad… He’s looking extra meek where durant & cp3, both whom dumb a$$es here say he is comparable too caring a team wise.. I hope he’s learned to pass the ball watching “LEBRON” of all people defer to durant on the court & in the paper
    Howard will r-sign in La… Its his off seasonretreat..makes sense. & okc was barelybetter than La in my eyes… Howard putsthem back over the top.EASILY. anyone who doesn’t see that is blinded by the disbelief & love of their team. Its okay.

  • robb

    humble guys don’t care

  • iceman

    i have no doubt kd will finally get that fire he lacked after having had a taste of the finals, lets not forget this cat is only 23 years old and not even in his prime yet and has improved every single year he’s been in the league

    he came 2nd to lbj for mvp this year no doubt if he boost his defense and assist he’ll get that chip

    as for kobe he’s a double edged sword he can either shoot u to victory or shoot his team to death, which one shows up will decide how far la will go

  • Conor

    When did LeBron become the best man-on-man defender?! His being able to GUARD all five positions is an extremely different thing than his being able to SHUT DOWN all five positions…

  • Drig

    @Conor…….LBJ’s the most versatile defender…….and is arguably the best perimeter defender along with TAllen. Iggy and Bradley come a close 3rd and 4th resp…

  • BallsDeep

    Absolutely. LBJ plays 4 positions but he ain’t shutting anybody down. DH is the better defender. I don’t see the Lakers improving much. KB has top relinquish the ball, which isn’t gonna happen. DH’s numbers will go down in LA…
    Clippers are better IMO!

  • http://www.slamonline.com L.E.

    @Seed
    The Finals are your one and only example.
    He has improved and still is and you act like he should already have won it all because he is in the league for sooooo long.
    Not everybody is playing with the most dominant Center of his time coming into this league.

  • http://none rumar spencer

    by any means neccessary, when you say that if kobe’s smart he’ll let pau get down in the post, the lakers will find a way to make it work.
    kobe is determined for that ring, now he has a deep team, he will and should be the first option. dwight right now, will learn what it takes to be a leader from kobe, and when kobe later on retires one of these years, then dwight will know what it takes to be leading a team. for you to say that if kobe is smart, he would get gasol down in the post, well pau will figure that out on his own. that’s pau’s doing. there will be times where pau will still shoot from the top,this really put kobe in a great position to get ring#6.

  • Ryan.T.

    The Thunder are a jump shooting team, as well as getting out on fast breaks.. Will the additions of Dwight Howard & Nash help the lakers stop the Thunder from being great at those two things? NO! Will Artest be able to stop KD or Harden this year? NO!

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @The Seed: wtf are you giving me there? the thunder learned their lesson in the finals so did durant. he is not a choker. just look at lebron james, he failed in two finals bevore he came up with a chip. jordan, bryant, olajuwon, pierce+allen+garnett – these guys failed multiple times bevore they even reached the finals. every superstar besides few exceptions had to go through that what you call “choking” (which is pretty stupid btw). never said westbrook was a bad player, the opposite is the case. he is just not a pass first guy who makes his teammates necessarily better. and by the way, durant is the first one to say that he wants westbrook to play like he does and to attack. that doesnt change my oppinion that durant would score way more points with a point guard with a better court vision. or do you seriously think that durant would score absolutely equally with cp3, dwill, rondo or nash playing point guard?

  • Ctk

    Durant is more a shooter than he is a scorer ..post game avg..iso game is slighty over average…ball handlin alright ..no vision ..great catch n shoot guy with legit range n dont miss no fts ..Westbrook is the guy that cuz the defenses they face to have to make a decision on something n forces tempo(yes he does get outta control at times) but all the top10 turnover players n the league r top guys..the key to the Lakers is how they use Gasol n handle the Jamison/Artest situation cuz we all know they gon leave Artest open ALL THE TIME n the corners but if u play Jamison then the whole perimeter will be trash on D

  • http://nba.com EJ

    It seems to me that The Seed thinks that forcing the issue is “playing with fire”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    So Lebron can’t guard anyone and Durant doesn’t want to win . . . where does this nonsense come from?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I seriously don’t get the whole “durant doesn’tplay with fire.” argument, everyone in that Finals played with fire, or some sort of passion.

  • Deedre

    Why isn’t Dwight Howard look at a villain like Lebron James was when he left Cleveland? Certainly in Florida he is but nationwide people don’t seem to care. This situation was obviously much worse. Not once did Lebron ever demand a trade or put his team in a emotional rollercoaster in the middle of the season. Lebron was much more classy about it. Even if he did know that he wasn’t staying in Cleveland, he didn’t constantly hint to it and complain about his team and front office. He announced it at the end of the season. While the Decision was certainly overboard, its ESPN. He raised over 2 mil for charities. I’m not the biggest Lebron fan (celtics fan) but I do think its extremely biased

  • Conor

    I think Los Angeles is going to implement the 05-07 Suns “Kobe Philosophy”. They will have Artest guard him as well as he humanly may, but ultimately will focus more on shutting the rest of OKC down. This would render the Thunder attack filtered & one-dimensional. They could also have Bryant guard Westbrook to minimize his effectiveness, as he has been relatively successful in doing (20ppg/5rpg/7apg v. 25ppg/6rpg/8apg).

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4FqOUz-Ia4 Ugh

    Surely about now someone should post a list of who are the best players in the league. C’mon, guys.

  • Conor

    *Suns’

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @deedre: i wouldnt call it classy to backstab your old team like bron did and to have teams fancying him for months. wouldve been better to give his team the chance to sign and trade him. he just left the cavs in ashes plus “the decicion” which wich he let the basketball world look like a bunch of backstreet boys. i dont know if this was really better than what howard did. at the other hand, when i look at what orlando got in return howard didnt leave much more than ashes of a roster after all his drama. but that f**d up roster is more the fault of orlandos gm

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    with wich. dang my english, im sorry guys. some sentenses there dont make too much sense, hope you get the point anywhere. listen kids: dont type drunk!

  • Bola

    My God, Lebron james best defender? The dude can guard 5 positions but to shut down somebody? I have seen good plays on their day own Lebron when he tried to guard them.

  • Conor

    ^ Thank you.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    It’s a matter of opinion, but to me, LeBron is a better all around defender than Dwight is. It’s time for people to let the Westbrook hate go. At this point, it is hate. When is the last time the PG of a team that got to the Conference Finals and then the NBA Finals got so much heat? All while being 23 years old and having played the position for only 4 years. In those 4 years, look at what he’s done. Is KD not the 3 time scoring champ? Did Westbrook not score 43 on the Heat in one of the greatest Finals performances in recent memory? Is he the best decision maker? No. But again, he’s going int his 5th season being a full time PG. But he’s the 2nd best player on the Western Conference champions. He’s obviously doing something right. The energy that he has meshed with KD’s unstoppable ability to score is what drives this team. So many folks act like they would rather him be traded. Trade Westbrook and this team doesn’t make it back to the Conference Finals let alone the NBA Finals. The scoring would fall solely on Durant and Harden. Russell will improve as he matures just as every other 23 year old player matures. Time to get off his back. The Lakers have to beat the Thunder in the playoffs in order to rightfully deserve the title as the best team in the conference. Until that happens, the Thunder are it.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @ByAnyMeansNecessary: its no westbrook hate if people say that he doesnt really make his teammates better and sometimes overpaces to take illadviced shots and produce unnecessary turnovers. people have to stop using the word hate p**y-wise. if smbdy doesnt want to kill you, threat or curse you by all his/hers might then that person doesnt hate you (or whoever)! all that CRITICISM doesnt change all the positive apsects you mentioned about westbrook anyway. i totally agree on what you said about him and i guess most people here do. but again, you seriously want to tell me that durants scoring average wouldnt be higher with a pass first (or at least ballanced shot / pass type of game-) point guard? and yes, i also dont think that the lakers look better on paper than the thunder unless they (lakers) add one or two athletic wings.

  • LightSkinSmurf

    I don’t care either. OKC will still beat the lakers in 6.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    @danpowers You clearly have no idea about what “hating” is. It’s not the same definition that you can find in a dictionary. It’s when people would rather consistently talk about the bad parts of a player’s game instead of the good parts especially when the good easily outweighs the bad. Folks seem to enjoy talking about the times when he’s out of control or may miss an open teammate rather than the fact that he’s a top 15 player and an All-NBA performer. And he’s only 23. Who was a finished product at 23? Especially a guy who’s been made into a PG. That is “hating”. Maybe you’re unaware of how the term has been used recently. The Thunder wouldn’t be where they are if not for Westbrook. The only players you could substitute for him are Rose, Paul or Williams. Only 3 PGs (the best 3 in the world to a lot of people) would do a better job than he does. No other PG would be effective on that team. They need him to score. They need his excitement. Durant has said this numerous times. All he needs to do is continue to mature and improve his decision making. Again, the man is only 23 years old and isn’t near his prime years.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @ByAnyMeansNecessary: that might be hate for you but for me its just a soft phony definition of the word hate. i actually like westbrook and this is the reason why i am upset about his flaws. i aint hating on him just because i point out what bothers me because this guy also hurts himself. i like that guy and rooted for the thunder in the finals not just to be against miami. the crazy stuff is, if he wouldnt have this flaws he would be the best point guard out there. he could be that allready. the things he does wrong dont come due to a lack of skills or talent, he just doesnt have his mind straight at times and this can drive you mad especially when you like him. sure he aint a finished product yet and not naturally a point guard, but player dna normally doesnt really change unless father time forces players to change from a game based on athleticism to post play or to add and rely on a better jumpshot. sure, westbrook is a big part of their success but please make it 4 and add rondo. never said that westbrook isnt good or hurts the thunder. lets all hope he stays healthy to improve these one or two things about his game. sometimes im just a bit scared by the way he plays that he gets hurt by some of his wild drives like carter, wade, rose or mcgrady.

  • pposse

    danpowers..lebron asserted himself in the post more this year than any year prior. Does that mean father time caught up to him? Obviously not, he just got smarter and learned how to win basketball games. Why can’t westbrook change his ‘dna’ if lebron can? On a side note, westbrook, KD that whole team will get hurt if they challenge D Howard in the paint too many teams.

  • http://www.nba.com/knicks danpowers

    @pposse: i just wouldnt put westbrook into one category with james. james is one of these rare one of a kind superstars that come into the league once per decade or less. westbrook is a great guy but not in lebrons class. i am not only talking about physical gifts or basketball skills. james has got an extraordinary basketball iq which westbrook lacks (but he got other extraordinary positivee qualities thats for sure).

  • pposse

    westbrook iq might not be the greatest, and your right he is not on bron bron’s level, but to think that he can’t change his game or fix his weaknesses is near sighted., Also, scoring pg’s have just as much success if not more when it comes to winning in the nba. What is the last team that even had a great PG play in the NBA finals who fit the traditional pg role? Don’t give me Jason Kidd from 2011 either, he was clearly a diminished player at that point and it was JJ Barea (a score first pg) that did most of the damage at the pg spot during the finals and thruout that playoff run. I can name a bunch of score first pg’s that have gotten to the ECF WCF and Finals in the past millenium. Rose, Westbrook, Parker, Billups are their names. And you got Kidd, Paul, Williams, Rondo, and Nash as your traditional pg’s with just as much wins. Billups and Parker have rings, and what do u know they were the finals MVP’s of their respective teams too at one point. Only J Kidd (old and not the same player in the 90′s/ early millenium) and Rondo (with a stacked unit, and when he was really young and not considered a great pg) have won rings. Score first pg’s work in this league, hence the thunders reg season record and success in the playoffs…they would NOT be better off with cp or derron williams…with rose they would be better thats it.

  • Pete Rubens

    You all do realize that Kendrick Perkins, the proclaimed Dwight stopper, will now have to guard the pick & roll, which he’s HORRIBLE at, with Howard (The most athletic center & best pick & roll center in the league) & Steve Nash (best pick & roll PG not named Chris Paul) now… right? & It’ll be Dwight hedging out on those Russell Westbrook & James Harden screens instead of the slow footed Bynum… right? Or do you all get your basketball expertise from NBA 2K? Dwight’s presence will also allow Kobe Bryant, 9-time All-NBA performer & Ron Artest, former defesenive player of the year, to pressure the perimeter & make OKC’s jump shots a lot tougher knowing Howard will be there to erase their mistakes. It’s an upgrade, deal with it.

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

    Pposse, you are right about a lot except those teams would definitely be better with CP and Deron. Rose and Westbrook wouldn’t have half the success with the bum teams the other two played for. On the other hand, if you place Deron or CP around the talent Rose has, they have a better shot at the Finals. Rose was out and his team still won without him. No team Deron or Paul has played for can say that.

  • pposse

    Oppenheimer, i don’t recall the bulls beating the sixers in the playoffs. In fact, most were saying the bulls would handle that team 4-0 or 4-1 at the very best. D Rose filled a void on the chicago bulls being that he can actually score (who on the bulls is the go to guy for scoring other than rose?), he can create his own shot, and he will give up the ball to the open man wen need be. Since D rose is the better scorer than both williams and cp, how in the world would they have made the bulls better? The thunder have three legit scorers, so ic an see you pt when talking about the thunder..however, westbrook is the ‘head of the snake’ as their coach once said, and if it aint broke dont try and fix it

  • Brad09

    Seems like everyone is into their own opinions. How about looking at facts for a change. Someone tried to make the argument that lebron was more of a defense force because he was more versatile? really in the early 2000s rashard lewis was a more versatile player but shaq was still better. Versatility only means so much. Last time i check lebron dosent have a defensive player of the year, dwight has a few. Whoever said the lakers still have no one to guard durant and westbrook is correct. However Dwight Howard will protect the rim now, which means westbrook will be challenged at the rim early and often. and westbrook has to guard a real basketball player now. LA vs OKC should be a great rivalry. And to the joke that said kevin durant was more of a shooter than a pure scorer? ya because shooters win 3 scoring titles by the time there 24. No wait reggie and ray are still looking for their 1st.

  • The_Skinny

    Adding to the facts:

    This is going to be a long season and this time teams are going to be more prepared for other.

    Both teams are contenders, only one team addressed its weaknesses, enough to win a title and that is the Lakers. By that I mean, if by chance the Thunder were to get past the Lakers, they will NOT beat the Heat! The Lakers is built to win a title.

    A strong key addition to the Lakers is Steve Nash! If you do not think that a back to back MVP PG makes much of a difference, well, the Clippers got CP3 and he does not have that type of resume and he made them into a perennial Playoffs team. How much more can Steve Nash do for the Lakers with the ball in his hands, making the entire team much better!

    The focus seems to be centered around the Thunder’s Big three. The Lakers now have a Fantastic Four and the legitimate bench that includes an All-Star (as our Sixth Man of the Year prospect) and a few nice key additions!

    Same dog, but new tricks. Another thing that is going to be addressed is the coaching. It seems as though no one is taking that into consideration. The new offense have elements of the triangle for one. Any everyone knows how the last five titles were won by the Lakers, the triangle was used to perfection. It seems to me that the coach will be play to everyone’s strengths. To me, the Lakers is not a little better, but instead much, much better. Someone posted that the Lakers will loose to Thunder in six. You only need the same and some adjustments to loose in six. The Lakers made major adjustments, so it is expected that the outcome will be drastically different.

    Finally, as it does not matter to KD the improvements the Lakers has made, so it does not matter what he thinks! The Lakers will handle their business effectively despite the opponent!

  • esonba

    LA swapped out one big man with problems for another big man with a whole nother set of problems. LA needed to get higher level players on the bench and another good shooting gaurd which they didnt do too much. Nash still doesnt play D and Kobe last i saw still doesnt like to pass. The media has blown this wayyy out of proportion. Russell will run nash raggid by the end of a series and Kobe will be matched if not surpassed point by point from KD. D12 poses a problem in the paint as did Bynum but some people say bynum better than D12 and vice versa. Media wanna say that the new old big 3 of Old Nash and Old Kobe and extremely silly D12 is gonna be enough but in real life it wont be. San antonio is still a threat to the West crown and their Defense super nasty with good perimeter shooting. I personally dont see LA making it to the Western conference finals just because of Nash and D12. plus we back to a full season so who knows if Kobe and nash will even remain healthy that long. I see either OKC or Spurs coming out the West with a Miami Heat repeat. They not only won it all last year but they got way better with the addition of their shooters. they may be the biggest monstas we eva seen in a long long time. Heat nation stand up

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  • Bryant24

    I didn’t know you could compare Howard to KD, hmmm? Andd I like the Lakers because of Kobe Bryant, not because the “media” brainwashed this teenage girl to like em. Some of us jus actually like the game.

  • Bryant24

    Andd the Heat will not be winning that championship this year, that’s a promise.

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