Skip to content

Kevin Durant says people want him to hate LeBron

Dec 7, 2012, 8:43 AM EDT

James of the U.S. hugs teammate Durant after their game against Lithuania at their men's preliminary round Group A basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games Reuters

Kevin Durant and LeBron James are buds. They hang out and work out together in the summer. They spent time together as part of Team USA. They are friends.

That is hard to swallow for people who long for a 1960s mentality where the players on opposing teams didn’t really know each other. They want to think the players buy into rivalries like they do.

And Kevin Durant hears it.

When picking up his Sportsman of the Year award from Sports Illustrated LeBron said that Durant is the guy that pushes him now, challenges him to be the best player he can. And Durant’s response, via the Oklahoman’s Thunder blog, shows the depth of respect the two have.

“Well, I really appreciate that comment because people want us to hate each other so bad. That’s true. People want us to hate each other,” Durant said with a smile. “I really respect him and I really compete against him hard — him and Kobe (Bryant). I play against those guys, they’re the guys who I’m looking at, who I want to get to, and I compete against those guys really, really hard, but we’re friends. We’re friends, everybody knows that. Once you get on that court and you’re playing against one of your friends, you play to win no matter what. Sometimes he might get the best of you, I might get the best of him one time. But I really respect him (James) and that’s cool that he thinks of me that way and I’ve just got to keep working hard to continue to get better.”

Some fans seem to think that if players are friends, they don’t go at each other as hard. I don’t buy it. Durant said as much. I mean, when you play hoops (or pool or whatever) against your friends, don’t you go at them harder than you do some random guy at the pick-up game?

You get the feeling we’re going to get to see LeBron and Durant go at each other with a lot on the line a few more times in the future. And that is going to be a lot of fun.

Latest Posts
  1. Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy to appear in CNBC documentary

    May 21, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Image (1) donaghy-thumb-250x140-11779.jpg for post 2008

    Donaghy was sent to prison for betting on NBA games while he was employed as a league official.

  2. Isiah Thomas hasn’t talked to Phil Jackson ‘because of the perception’

    May 21, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT

    Isiah Thomas Isiah Thomas

    Thomas is now running New York’s WNBA team, but many feel it’s just a matter of time before he’s back in some capacity with the Knicks.

  3. PBT Extra: No DeMarre Carroll leaves Hawks in tough spot

    May 21, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT

    This is now a team without its two best wing defenders.

  4. PBT Extra: J.R. makes case for hot hand theory, is loved in Cleveland

    May 21, 2015, 4:59 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks - Game One Getty Images

    If the NBA gave points for degree of difficulty, how much more valuable would he be?

  5. Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans undergoes arthroscopic knee surgery

    May 21, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors - Game One Getty Images

    Evans should be good to go by the start of training camp next season.

  6. PBT Extra: Draft Lottery winers start with Lakers

    May 21, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    2012 NBA Draft Lottery 2012 NBA Draft Lottery

    Lakers fans feel the basketball gods owed them after a few brutal years of injuries; fans of 29 other NBA teams would beg to differ.

  7. Mitch Kupchak on Lakers’ reported interest in Tom Thibodeau: “Nothing to it”

    May 21, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    2014-15 KIA Most Improved Player Award 2014-15 KIA Most Improved Player Award

    A report surfaced Wednesday suggesting they were planning on pursuing the Bulls coach.

  8. Stephen Curry, LeBron James unanimous choices, lead All-NBA First Team

    May 21, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT

    Stephen Curry AP

    Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and James Harden round out the first team.

  9. Mavericks president on Rick Carlisle: ‘He can be in Dallas as long as he wants to be’

    May 21, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT

    Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four Getty Images

    Carlisle is an excellent coach, but this type of job security is nearly unprecedented

Featured video

Small ball lineup propelled Warriors to Game 1 win
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Irving (5921)
  2. K. Love (5058)
  3. P. Beverley (4622)
  4. D. Howard (4096)
  5. S. Curry (3891)
  1. K. Durant (3542)
  2. M. Speights (3506)
  3. K. Bryant (3328)
  4. L. James (3307)
  5. R. Rondo (3097)