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“Forgotten” Durant says Derrick Rose is MVP

Apr 7, 2011, 10:45 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

Before the season, Kevin Durant was the MVP favorite. He was coming of an NBA scoring title and leading Team USA to gold in Turkey, he seemed destined to take the next step.

And then he and the Thunder got off to a slow start. And he slid off the radar. The as the season wore on he got his groove back and he once again leads the NBA in scoring — 27.8 points per game. His shooting percentages dropped a little, but he is still one of the best scorers in the game. Yet he never climbed back into the MVP discussion. He was the forgotten one.

He told Chris Tomasson at Hoopshype the scoring title he’ll get again should remind people he’s still around.

“A lot of people forgot about me this year,’’ said Durant, averaging 27.8 points. “So I guess if I get the scoring title, I guess people will remember me. Last year, I kind of jumped on the scene. I’m the old guy. I’m not going out there and averaging 40 points a game and stuff like that. So people forgot about me. So, hopefully, the scoring title I guess will let people to know, ‘Hey, I’m here still.’’’

As for the MVP race, Durant is good with being the forgotten guy.

“No (dissatisfaction). I’m playing on a winning basketball team,’’ Durant said of the Thunder (52-26), which clinched the Northwest Division on Wednesday. “I won 50 games. I’m in a tough conference, a tough division. I think the MVP goes to a guy that there team is like us last year when we went from 23 wins to 50 (even if Durant finished behind James, whose Cavaliers actually fell from 66 to 61 wins). That’s a big difference. With guys like D. Rose, they went from 41 to like 50-something right now. So it’s a big difference. We stayed the same.

“So, if you stay the same, that’s probably why Kobe Bryant only won one award (for MVP, in 2008). Hopefully, I’ll get one before I’m done playing, though. As of right now, I congratulate Derrick Rose for winning MVP… Yeah, of course (Rose should be the MVP). He’s having a phenomenal season. They’re No. 1 in the East now, especially with all the firepower that went to the East… (Rose), Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, those three guys should be MVP candidates.’

Next season, Durant is my MVP favorite. Again. People are not going to forget him.

  1. purdueman - Apr 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    I live out in the greater LA area and I just laugh when I hear Laker Homers phone in to sports talk radio stations (we have four; two in LA, one in Orange County and one superstation based out of Tijuana, Mexico that broadcasts out of San Diego), call in drooling over the prospects of luring Rose to the Lakers as the heir apparent to Kobe.

    Hey Laker fans… I got a news flash for you. Rose grew up in Chicago. Rose is a lifelong Bulls fan. Rose plays for a franchise clearly committed to winning. Rose won’t do better financially anywhere other than his home town. In other words, Rose ain’t leaving the Bulls until he retires; get over it!

    As to Rose’s MVP credentials? Show me even ONE national sports columnist who picked the Bulls to finish with the best overall record in the East this year… just one! And where the Bulls were picked to finish this year didn’t take into account losing their starting center (Noah), for over 30 games and their starting PF (Boozer), for 25 games either.

    Case closed; Rose is the NBA MVP this year… period!

    • hnirobert3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      There was a really good read in SI a few weeks back about Rose and his ties/love for Chicago. He’s not going anywhere.

      And I don’t want to hear people compare him to LBJ. Aside from maturity issues/bad PR ideas that LeBron has, he wasn’t from Cleveland, he was from Akron, and if you believe what he said in an interview with GQ (I believe) a month or two after the Decision, he says he didn’t like the city of Cleveland growing up and that it was a me vs. them mentality between Akron and Cleveland.

  2. hnirobert3 - Apr 8, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    I wonder if Rose will have the follow-up season that Durant had to last years where statistically it’s very good but he’s overlooked for a fresh face, like a Westbrook, Blake, someone like that. I enjoy the idea of having a bunch of different guys in the mix for MVP.

    • purdueman - Apr 8, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      hniro… good post, but funny how you don’t launch off in personal attacks when you agree (or mostly agree), with the poster. I’m sure though that you’ll revert back to doing so though the first time that anyone has the unmitigated gaul to post anything that’s not totally pro-Yankees. Just an observation.

      Good SI reference re: La Bum James, but while you certainly can compare cities (in this case Chicago vs. Cleveland), I find it fruitless to compare individual players because they have different surrounding casts around them, oftentimes play different positions (in this case PG vs. SF), play in different conferences (which comes into play when people want to compare Rose to Kobe for example), and/or play in different offensive schemes (i.e., Kobe in the triangle offense, Rose in a half court offense).

      It’s like that poster a while back who compared Rodman to Chamberlain. Rodman never played center and Chamberlain never played power forward, so while some continue to compare the two, it’s a lot like comparing an apple to an orange and just wastes time and annoys everyone.

  3. helinhater - Apr 8, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    Thank God. Maybe Kurt will shut up and start listening to the people who actually play and coach the game.

    I love the idea of metrics but it’s given rise to way too many nerds who never played trying to impact the game somehow…

    MVP votes should be handled by the players and players only, no media.

    I’m sure Bob Ryan has forgotten more basketball than I will ever know, but he’s also an old, crotchety guy who thinks everything was better in the old days.

    Let the guys who play speak their mind. They actually know.

    And I would bet the players would relish winning a trophy from their peers over a bunch of fat, pasty sportswriters anyways…

    Oh, and whoever thinks the Lakers have a shot at Rose are idiots.

    People seem to forget the Ced Ceballos/Van Exel years in LA…Those years are coming.

    The best move LA could make is to not hire Brian Shaw…and instead go after D’Antoni.

    • jizzojames - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      Go after D’Antoni? That’s ur answer to the future coaching question of a team that has run the triangle offense for most of the past 11-12 years. Thank God you aren’t a GM.

    • avermaver - Apr 8, 2011 at 6:27 PM

      old guys who think everything sucks and stat nerds, sums up the current crop of sports “journalists” pretty well

  4. jizzojames - Apr 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I do believe the players that play the game today should have a strong influence on who wins the MVP award, and a player should have a great sense of gratitude for another MVP caliber player to say he deserves to be MVP. I do believe D Rose is a great player to receive the MVP award, and its a good thing that he’s helping restore a very good Chicago Bulls organization back to contending form.

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