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LeBron James wants Kevin Durant to shoot the rock more

Jul 30, 2012, 1:34 PM EDT

London Olympics Basketball Men AP

Kevin Durant led Team USA with 22 points against France on Sunday, and you can look for that trend to continue. He is the best pure shooter and scorer on Team USA (frankly, the best in the world), his role on this team is to score.

And LeBron James wants him doing more of it.

While Durant led the 2010 Team USA to a FIBA World Championship, this is a different squad and at the start Durant looked at all the talent around him and started to pass up shots to other guys.

LeBron told Durant to stop it and shoot the rock, he told the Charlotte Observer.

“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.”

It’s not just LeBron.

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.”

James is deferring more and playing a facilitating role with Team USA this Olympics (and through the exhibitions), and Kobe Bryant has deferred more as well. Durant and Carmelo Anthony have been the designated shooters. That said, you know if a big game gets tight a lot of guys would suddenly want the rock.

But there are not going to be a lot of close games, so look for Durant to be the leading scorer and potential MVP of Team USA. LeBron even wants it that way.

  1. fanz928 - Jul 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I think MVP will be lebron just like the finals

  2. timb12 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Man, nothing gives a writer credibility like calling the ball “the rock”. It really gives me the feeling that he plays.

    Just call it the ball, who are you trying to impress? Haha

    • reesesteel23 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Lol….Angry much?…or bored?

      • timb12 - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Lebron never said rock! I’d say about 70/30 bored.

    • hannsta - Jul 30, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      There are only so many nouns and adjectives out there to describe sports. If you write about the same thing for 20 some years you have to get a little creative to keep yourself from going insane.

  3. explosionsauce - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Lebron James wants Kurt Helin to stop sending him love letters.

    • mannyfresh209 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      You seem to be hinting at your desire to have those letters redirected to yourself.

  4. letangswitchedtoheadandshoulders - Jul 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Tell Carmelo to be more like Durant all the time. Melo sucks.

  5. congocash - Jul 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Actually, the phrase “give me the rock” traces its roots back to inner city new york in the 1970s. It was a deravation of “do you have any rock on you man?”. True story.

  6. jimeejohnson - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Point is, Kevin Durant can shoot the lights out anywhere, and his performance in the last World Championships, when he led the USA to the championship, is the tip of the iceberg. Team USA needs him to be aggressive on the offense, because if he can’t do it, one of the other greatest players in the world, will. No other team in the world has the talent of Team USA. Not even close.

  7. therealgts - Jul 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Really? Blasting Kurt for saying rock? Anyone who has ever played any kind of basketball uses that. Go back to your cubicle job and find another reason to hate.

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