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Durant admits teaming up with LeBron after finals bothers him

Jul 11, 2012, 10:55 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One Getty Images

Intellectually, Kevin Durant knows this is how it goes. He knows what he is doing now is representing the United States.

But after battling LeBron James for the NBA championship and falling short just a few weeks ago, Durant admits it’s not that easy to turn around and be teammates. It annoys him, he told the AP.

“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.”

I like that Durant can’t just flip the switch and turn off his competitive nature. I like that he’s still bitter about losing in the finals. Thunder fans should like it, too, because their team is going to come back hungrier next season.

And by the tine Durant sees LeBron open for a corner three in London, they will be past it. These guys both know what really matters.

  1. beagle11 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Gotta love this kid!

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      Get ready CB13. You’re going to go out of your mind in a second or two……

      Yeah, you love this kid now. But lets fast forward 5 years. I’m not saying this is going to happen. Just setting up a scenario. Let your mind imagine………..

      It’s summer 2017 Either the Lakers, Heat, Nets (ok, CB13 I’ll throw you a bone), or Knicks have combined to win all 5 championships between 2013 and 2017. That “kid” is now 28-29. And now he’s not getting the benefit of the doubt from fans. They think he doesn’t have what it takes to win it all. And Westbrook is either gone, diminished, or he just hates him. And since Harden and Westbrook are max guys, nobody wants to take less to play in OKC.

      And his contract is up. And Lebron is 32. Still strong, but maybe not LeBron circa 2012. Bosh is still good, but Wade’s retired. Riley’s still Riley.

      They put the rings on the table. Durant takes his talents to South Beach.

      You still going to love him?

      • oldmanbasketball - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        Nice fantasy.

      • cantonbound13 - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        You’re dreaming. Not everyone is as cowardly as LeBron & take the easy way to a championship.

  2. angelcastro1120 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Durant’s a class guy and amazing player. He’ll be back in the finals soon. I think OKC may need some pieces in order to dethrone the Heat. Now they have The Lakers to worry about. Maybe Durant and LeBron can battle and be this generations Bird and Magic. With LeBron winning more rings.

  3. cantonbound13 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    I heard when Durant went to shake LeBron’s hand after game 5 he got called for a flagrant foul.

    • canehouse - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      He should have been called for a flagrant 2… how dare someone try ot shake the hand of a KING!!

    • tanna456 - Jul 11, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      LAME…….

  4. eltrilliardo - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    But doesn’t it feel better to team up with superstars than losing in the finals?

    Yeah, that’s why Lebron did it.

    • cantonbound13 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Easy & lazy way to a championship. Real athletes & competitors lead their team to a championship.

      • miamatt - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        You’d have to be living in a cave to call this championship easy or lazy. LeBron has been the most scrutinized and over criticized athlete of all time on the most scrutinized and over criticized team of all time. He got punched in the mouth in last year’s finals, busted his a$$ to get better, sacrificed his self-image of what type of player he wants to be (perimieter/finesse), and did whatever it took to win.

        I hope you choke on Vaniwaaaaaahhh Wafers.

      • rtfinch - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        over criticized? so you dont thnk he earned any of it? hmm….

      • zeedoubleyou - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        @rtfinch

        Saying he was over-criticized does not imply that LeBron did not earn any of it, just that the constant criticism and scrutinization became excessive.

        You might want to touch up on those reading comprehension skills.

      • tomtravis76 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        Must be your first year watching the NBA, because you have no sense of the history of the league and rosters of championship teams.

      • mikejd12 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Easy and lazy……………….so bird was lazy athlete when he had 3 hall of famers on his team when they won championships…..Or for magic it was easy when he had 3 hall of famers and they won theres. Your still bitter. Your message of congradulations and the heat derserving the championship was clearly bologny.

      • rtfinch - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        @zeedoubleyou why i would love to go back and forth with you, you’ve proven you are not capable of the a mature adult debate so therefor I will not have a battle of wits with someone coming unarmed.

      • zeedoubleyou - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        @rtfinch

        “you are not capable of the a mature adult debate so therefor I will not have a battle of wits with someone coming unarmed.”

        The irony in these words is fantastic

      • finalword33 - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM

        Lebron DID lead them to a championship and was fully blamed for them losing it last season. Make no mistake, Lebron is a winner. There comes a time when you gotta leave a losing franchise and MAKE your success happen. He’ll do it again too.

        He’s the best player in basketball, hands down, but 1-man teams don’t win championships with 1-man franchises.

      • k3nn3k - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Why does Lebron get so much criticism for joining Bosh and Wade in Miami? Celtic fans, isn’t this was Garnett, Pierce, and Allen did prior? Besides “The Decision” which was really just an over done press conference, why would you be so mad at that guy? He gave 7 years to a franchise that barely built around him. Lebron, Wade, and Bosh all took LESS money in order to win. LESS money…that is unheard of in sports today. Why does Garnett, Pierce, and Allen not get as much flack? Why is it that Laker fans are cheering…nay, PLEADING for Howard to join Kobe and Nash and form a big 3 of their own?…the exact same thing they curse Lebron for.

        Lebron is a beast…his talents deserve a ring…and probably multiple rings.

        Oh, and if you are mad at that pre-celebration party they had…”not one, not 2, not 3…not 7″ then get over it. If I was in a city where those 3 were ready to battle for us, then I would be celebrating too! And if they are confident for winning multiple rings….then as a fan…I’m loving it.

      • hbdbrowns33 - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        K3nn3k the celtics get a pass because Garnett was a free agent signing and then they traded for Ray Allen. The 3 of them weren’t planning on doing it years before hand. Your comment about the Cavs is way off as well. They did EVERYTHING they could to keep LeBron. Every trade, FA signing, or organizational move was run by him to approve. Saying the Cavs barely built around him is ignorant.

  5. 1977rich - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I’m a laker fan, but gotta love that attitude! Some of this older guys should learn a thing or two from this young guy… GO USA!

  6. ashutto20 - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Sounds like someone is still bitter??? (cantonbound13)

    • truthhurtstoo - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      cantonbum is a one-trick pony- he’s got no game

  7. ncfinfan - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Cantonbound obviously you have a huge crush on lbj, move on dude there’s better things to do in life , you pathetic

  8. shockexchange - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Durant should let that competitive fire fuel him as he prepares for next year. But is he “G” enough to go at his OKC teammates? http://clicky.me/793y

  9. truthhurtstoo - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Cry us a river Durant…. AGAIN! (better get used to losing to LeBron)

    • rtfinch - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      What exactly is he crying about?

    • zeedoubleyou - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:09 PM

      C’mon bud, this is classless. The Heat guys admitted that they would have felt the same way playing with Tyson Chandler if the Olympics had been last year.

      As much as I hope you’re right that MIA keeps beating OKC, I also want to see Durant use this motivation to work on his defense, passing, and post game to become a complete player so that this matchup gets even better than it already is.

    • finalword33 - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Durant’s a good guy, but he wasn’t eloquent in his response. He probably shouldn’t have said anything. He should WANT to play with the player better than he is to learn from him. Eh, he’s young.

      • itsthemelman82 - Jul 11, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        That would be a product of this public relations dominant world we live in and sucks. KD is smart & thoughtful and I’m glad he is taking this stance. Both Durant & Rose are so rare nowadays that it’s become refreshing to see guys that are TRUE leaders. They aren’t worried about recruiting all stars to play with them. They go about their business, use the offseason to better their games. It’s no wonder why the Bulls and Thunder are championship caliber teams, both teams are led by hyper compettitive stars that are loved by their teammates.

  10. elcomandanteenjefe - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    If LeBron was on the other end of this and reacted in a similar fashion as Durant, people would still crucify him. These are the same people (i.e. ESPN, Fans, and Media) that anointed him as the chosen one right out of high school.

    • tomtravis76 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Exactly. If OKC won and Lebron said this, he would be called a sore loser, a poor sport, bad influence on kids because he can’t let it just be a game.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      LeBron would NEVER say this because he has no competitive juices of the court. It’s the ONLY thing separating him from Michael Jordan. He has as much talent as MJ but he just doesn’t have the drive or the heart. And it’s a shame because when he came out, I was hoping for the second coming of MJ. Instead, he’s just another great player. Ho hum.

      • elcomandanteenjefe - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM

        Competitive juice… where can I get me some of that? That’s all hog wash BS along with the analogies of ice in his veins, fire in his eyes, heart of a champion, and the list goes on. Any person who plays or has played a sport can tell you that they play to win the game (see Herman Edwards) so you can cut the whole “competitive juice” thing out of the equation. All people want to do is win, in life, sports, or whatever. The difference is that some just want it more than others.

      • finalword33 - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        That was a lame troll.

      • chipsamoy25 - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        Chris, remember when you thought LeBron has as much talent as MJ did?

        Good times..

  11. abasketballthing - Jul 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    You probably meant “LeBron sees Durant open for a corner three”.

  12. majorhavoc83 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I’m a Knicks fan, but I sure do like OKC a lot. I love Durant’s attitude. Now, what he should be doing – aside from helping to drive Team USA to a gold medal – is to use the time to get inside Lebron’s head. You’re playing and practicing together every day, so learn what he likes and doesn’t like and learn his weaknesses. Next season, use that knowledge to beat Lebron and the Heat. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer!

    • miamatt - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      They worked out extensively together last summer during the lockout. Durant has learned whatever he can from LeBron already. That knowledge didn’t help him last month, and it won’t help him next year. The competition might make him better but I don’t see what weaknesses LeBron might have for Durant to exploit. And I don’t see how the guy who just lost in the finals is going to get in the champ’s head. That’s like suggesting Clyde Drexler should have gotten in Michael Jordan’s head during the original dream team olympics.

      • scalfor3 - Jul 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        i hope you realize that the gap between lebron and durant isn’t nearly as wide as that between jordan and drexler

  13. ebrownwareagle - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    You have to be a JACKA$$ to have watched the Heat this season and know LB6 was the best player on the team. Regular season, Playoffs and Finals! Not a heat fan but get off of it and over it LB6 is now a CHAMPION and was the best player.

  14. csav03 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    If it bothers Durant so much then why is he tweeting photos of him Lebron, CP3, Westbrook and Mello out at Johnny Rockets this week.

  15. teambringitstrong - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Actually it IS an easy and lazy way to win a championship. This is why those teams fail to win it all more often than not. I bet those of you defending James and the Heat are also the ones complaining about the Yankees’ payroll. Hypocrites.

    • canehouse - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      League champions suggest that the majority of titles are captured by the assembly of talent strategically more than organically produced talent. I might be wrong… in the last 20 seasons you can argue that all but 7 titles (Bulls 92, 93, Spurs 99, 03, 05, 07, and Pistons 04) were won by teams compiled of parts and pieces aquired and not grown.

    • zeedoubleyou - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

      Please use your mind-reading powers for the good of mankind.

  16. Charlie "Jumbo" Copeland - Jul 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    The Sports Dump thinks the 2012 team could beat the Dream Team. What do you think? http://wp.me/p2bjjs-Xk

    • tomtravis76 - Jul 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      This is tough, because the Dream Team are the basketball players I idolized, the ones who everyone pretended to be, the ones who I think played the game the “way it should be played”. The guys on the London team all have a bit of those guys games in their games but evolved.
      You look at the London team and their roster is full of future hall of famers.

      Dream Team I think would win in 6, just because of basketball experience and knowledge. Jordan is the difference. You put 1992 Jordan on any sqaud, and its tough to bet against him.

      The 1996 Atlanta team wasn’t too shabby either.

      • scalfor3 - Jul 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        dream team definitely. besides the obvious mj factor, the dream team could overwhelm this years team with size inside.

  17. oldmanbasketball - Jul 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    This is exactly how Bird/Magic felt about each other after one lost to the other in the finals. Durant gets it.

  18. charlutes - Jul 11, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    I think Lebrons doing the passing in that scenario. I would make James a 4 on this team and force him to stay low in the block all game every game.

  19. nobandwagonridersallowed - Jul 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Kevin Durant is a tremendous young talent in the league … With that being said, that young man better get his WEIGHT up if he really wants to battle Lebron “I’m a Champ Now” James. (He’s 6’10” and he barely out weighs Floyd Mayweather Jr) I love the competitive fire, but I do agree that most of us are guilty when it comes to the Double-Standards. Lebron would’ve gotten bashed had he uttered those comments verbatim. HeatNation Stand Up!!! Bring back the Gold Team U.S.A!!!

  20. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jul 11, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    I love this Durant kid.

  21. imforbigblue - Jul 12, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Your calling him a great kid but I seen was a over paid cry baby. Suck it up you lost move on and play ball for team USA

  22. proballerslounge - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    http://proballerslounge.wordpress.com/

  23. proballerslounge - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    http://proballerslounge.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/comparing-lebron-james-and-kevin-durant-at-23-27-2/ comparison for Lebron and KD at age 23

  24. davidcl77 - Jul 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    In game 2 of the Finals when Lebron fouled Durant and there was no call, Durant should have raised hell. It cost them the game. He shrugged it off. Think Michael, Magic or Bird would have just walked away? Get that FIRE in you, son! With it, you are a world beater!

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