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Kevin Durant responds to LeBron James’ ‘jealous’ comment: ‘LeBron can do whatever he wants’

Jan 17, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

LeBron James recently expressed his jealousy of how much Kevin Durant shoots.

LeBron attempts 16.2 shots per game (19th in the NBA) to Durant’s 19.5 (third in the NBA), so there is a certainly a significant difference for the leading MVP candidates. Neither player is putting up empty numbers – nothing close to that. Although I think he meant to honestly reveal the downside to his own situation, LeBron also – implicitly and only slightly – discredited Durant’s scoring average (30.0 to LeBron’s 25.9). After all, it’s easier to score more when you can shoot more.

It was only a matter of time until Durant was asked to respond.

Durant, via Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

“What he say?” Durant asked, rhetorically.

“How can I not see it? It’s been on CNN. It’s been on ABC, FOX Sports. Man, it’s been everywhere. Ya’ll blowing that out of proportion, man. I mean, I’m pretty sure, matter of fact, I’m 100 percent sure LeBron can do whatever he wants.”

That is a great answer.

LeBron can do whatever he wants. With a clever comment, Durant spins this back on LeBron, whose initial comments now seem like a humblebrag. Ugh, I wish I could score more, but I’m just too good a teammate.

Of course, that’s only one portion of what LeBron said.

I mostly agree with the rest of Durant’s comment, that some are blowing LeBron’s comments out of proportion. They’re certainly interesting and worthy of discussion, but I don’t think they’re a call for change.

As I said before, I think the denigration of Durant’s numbers was only a side effect of LeBron’s main purpose: to discuss his internal conflict. LeBron wants to play within the Heat’s system, a system that admittedly makes him the focal point, and he also wants to shoot more. That’s fine, and LeBron clearly chooses the former more than the latter.

We all face dilemmas like that in our own lives. I want to eat all the ice cream in my freezer right now (peanut cup and pretzel), but I also want to be relatively healthy. I have to choose between two things I want, and LeBron does the same with playing within Miami’s system and shooting more. It’s compelling to hear him discuss the road he’s not taking.

It’s just unfortunate Durant was painted as doing something wrong, because he’s certainly not.

  1. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    This is why Lebron will always be baby bron bron. He’s arrogant and in a weird babyish way. MJ and Kobe were arrogant too but both especially MJ had a way of doing it so you thought da** he’s bada**

    • heat256 - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Why do the Vikings and T-Wolves always suck donkey balls?

      • savvybynature - Jan 17, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        Probably a combination of not being a desirable location for free agents and poor management.
        In other words, it has about as much to do with the fans as the Heat’s success has to do with you.

      • heat256 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Try and exercise some reading comprehension, chief. Nowhere were their fans disparaged.

  2. zeedoubleyou - Jan 17, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Did anybody really read LeBron’s comments and think he was saying Durant shoots too much?

    Westbrook is out. If Wade or Bosh went down for an extended stretch, I’m sure LBJ would be taking as many shots as KD.

  3. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:02 PM

    You have a store bought team, congrats. How’s Marino?

    • asimonetti88 - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Dolphins and Vikings fans arguing about success. That’s cute.

    • southbeachtalent - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      at a discount.. great isn’t it.

    • jw1991 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:19 PM

      Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester etc.. store bought, does it make a difference to fans worldwide? No, in reality its smart, quit hating and hope your team whatever the team may be gets a brain and saves and develops for a brighter future.

    • heat256 - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Yep. Our store allows you to get Bosh, Wade and LeBron. At a discount. Your store gets you JJ Barea way overvalued. Win for MIA.

      • southbeachtalent - Jan 17, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        Yea, their store sucks…

    • engh533 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      I assuming by your ignorant comment that all the other players on other teams play for free

  4. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Also I’d love to like Lebron. As stated by my comments about MJ and Kobe. Trust me I’m a sports fan and Lebron is the lowest of low.

    • heat256 - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      I’m sure Rae Carruth or Aaron Hernandez should rank lower. If not, your priorities are way out of whack. That, or you’re an idiot.

      • southbeachtalent - Jan 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        the latter.

    • engh533 - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      You don’t have to like him but you should respect his game because it is second to none

      • dinofrank60 - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        He doesn’t have to respect his game. That’s a personal choice.

        It should be important that you respect LBJ’s game; that’s all that matters.

  5. indrathegod - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    You’re ridiculous. Not to mention you sound bitter. Whether you ‘like’ him or not, you still must respect the fact that he is the best player in the world.

    And if that’s the case, PLENTY of franchises are ‘store bought’. The Heat, Clippers, Nets, Rockets…the exception comes due to the fact that of all those teams, the Heat live up to their expectation. Please.

  6. antistratfordian - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    No, I’m pretty sure LeBron cannot do whatever he wants. If he did, the collaboration with Wade and Bosh would’ve failed.

    In any case, if you kept James’s comments the same but replaced Durant’s name with Carmelo Anthony, nobody would have an issue with what he said. But LeBron’s comments are just as fair with Durant because he’s been shooting like Melo recently (23 FGA @ 45%).

    LeBron’s philosophy on this has remained consistent since high school – he summed it up in a wiser-than-his-years comment from his St. V days:

    I know every night I can go out there every night and score 50. I can easily be a ball hog and shoot all I want. But I have the will power to not do that…

    What a refreshing idea! The will power to NOT give in to your personal desire to be the hero every possession. A lot of people think it takes a lot of will to shoot 30 times a game – I’d argue that it takes more to sacrifice than it does to surrender to those base urges.

    LBJ is something like a basketball monk.

    • bucrightoff - Jan 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Sorry but monks don’t flop, even as they’re self-immolating themselves.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        Familiarize yourself with the Drunken Monk style.

    • urodaddy07 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

      That’s commendable, but he’s not the first guy to sacrifice shots. I’m tired of hearing him allude to what a great teammate he is.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        He is kind of the first historically elite scorer in the post-Jordan era to sacrifice shots at that level. While everyone else in LeBron’s position were MJ-wannabes (only really cared about scoring) – James was this oddity out there who countered the MJ-worship culture and became famous particularly because of his incredible passing ability – but he was still also one of the best scorers we’ve ever seen.

        Yeah, that is a first.

    • sirkadien - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      Hmmm . …Another LBJ sac rider that i have to put in their place. We’ve seen your opinion, now let’s look at the FACTS, shall we?:

      LBJ’s career FGA (field goal attempt) average is 20.0. Lebron had FIVE seasons in Cleveland where his FGA average was AT LEAST 20 per game! He shot BELOW 50% from the field every year he was in Cleveland, except his very last season there, when he shot exactly 50%. At that time Lebron was 25 years old. Because Lebron had less help in Cleveland, he had to shoot more. His FG% suffered because he couldn’t afford to pick and choose when or when not to score.
      In Lebron’s rookie season he was listed as a shoot guard. His FG% was 41%. When he moved to small forward, his FG% jumped to 47%. Looks like the position you play affects FG% as well as how much you shoot. Who would have thought? It’s no wonder then that in the 2012-13 NBA season, when Lebron became listed as a power forward rather than a small forward, his FG% jumped again! His FG% went from 53% to 57%. He now plays closer to the rim at power forward, AND he’s shooting far less. He also had the lowest FGA average of his career (up to that point) last year, at 17.8 per game. His FGA average dipped even more this year, and is now at a CAREER LOW 16.3 shot per game! This is why he is shooting 58% from the field. When you have a ton of offensive help like Wade, Bosh and the newly added Ray Allen, you don’t have to shoot as much.

      Now let’s look at Durant:

      Kevin Durant’s career FGA average is 18.7. Durant averaged over 20 shot attempts per game ONLY ONCE for his career so far, when he averaged 20.3 shots per game in his 3rd NBA season. Kevin Durant was listed as a shooting guard his first season in the league. He shot 43% from the field then. When he moved to small forward, his FG% jumped to 48%. Kevin Durant was only 23 when his FG% reached 50%, or 49.6% to be exact. Last season at age 24, Durant shot 51% from the field. Look at the style of play of Kevin Durant versus Lebron. Yet Durant STILL reached a 50% shooting FG% faster than Lebron did.

      An here’s the final and BEST part:

      Last season Lebron James averaged 17.8 FGA per game and his scoring average was 26.8. Last season Durant averaged 17.7 FGA per game, and his scoring average was 28.1 (2nd highest in the league)!!!! The difference is Durant shot about 91% from the free throw line versus lebron at 75%. NOW who’s the more efficient scorer? Even today, without Westbrook, Durant is still attempting around 19.7 FGAs per game, just like he’s done in previous seasons.

      • antistratfordian - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        That’s too verbose. And we’re not talking about Cleveland. This is about LeBron in Miami.

        And KD scores so much from the line because he flops a lot to get there. The league banned his old move, but he has other ones that he still uses. He scores more points off of free throws than any elite scorer in the game.

        Scoring Average Minus Free Throws – 2012-13:

        Melo – 22.2
        LeBron – 21.6
        Kobe – 20.5
        Durant – 19.7

        Thank god for the free throw line, eh?

        NOW who’s the more efficient scorer?

        When LeBron decides that he wants to put the ball in the hole, he does over 58% of the time. In the most basic terms that means when LeBron shoots, you’re seeing the ball go in the hoop a lot more often than not. That’s something KD, Kobe, Melo etc. can’t f— with. When Durant decides he wants to score, he misses most of the time (49% so far this year).

  7. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Bitter? Rofl. Please, don’t flatter yourself. All those store bought teams are a joke. And there would be more problems had the New Yorks of the world done something with it. That’s why the NFL is successful there’s no “big market” teams. Also I do think LBJ is the best right now but that doesn’t change he’s a clown. Unlike you heat fans I allow myself to think outside the box. I’ll tell it like it is. Love is a piece of crap too. I’m not afraid to hate on my teams players or like other players. If you’re not a tool I’ll be a fan. Pretty simple. Paul George? There’s a guy I’m a fan of doesn’t pout like Love or LBJ or CP3.

    • jw1991 - Jan 17, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      cause the eagles didn’t buy every free agent a few years back right?

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      TBH i dont care if they pout cry crawl in the fetal position and rock back and forth as long as the trophies keep rolling in

  8. jgray30 - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    maybe he meant he wish he could shoot as good as KD. No I’m not talking about dunks either

    • bkbell3 - Jan 18, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      Love Durant. he is special but he is a career 47% shooter,have you looked at lebron’s shooting % this year and for his career? What does it matter how you shoot a high % the name of the game is to score as much as possible as efficiently as possible. Lebron dunks a lot cause he can use his skill to get to the rim and finish with impunity. Look up his shooting % from mid- range and from 3. Both players are going to be all time greats but Durant needs to and is expanding his game to other areas like assists and needs to be a more consistent rebounder and a more lock down defender.Durant’s athletesisim at his size and length is unheard of and he is young and will continue to grow and add to his game. I’m afraid that barring injuries around the league or breaking Miami up that okc won’t spend the dollars to put enough around KD for them to ever win a chip in the next 3-4 years and then they will have so much dollars invested in Westbrook and kd that it will be hard to put enough talent around them. Keeping harden with kd and Westbrook while they were somewhat cheap coming off their rookie contracts gave them a few years of a window but that 9mil contract for useless Perkins killed them. (5 rebounds a game smh).

  9. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    And how did it work for the Eagles? And soccer? Lol aight. My point isn’t very hard to understand guys like LBJ, cp3, love, deron, carmello etc are crap. It’s ridiculous these guys hold a team hostage and they get nothing. NBA at least needs a franchise tag so you could stand a chance to getting some value for a guy if he doesn’t want to resign.

  10. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Yeah you had to use Aaron Hernandez to bump LBJ off his “pedestal” that should do it for me here today.

  11. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Mn fans???? Lololol dear god child. We have an awesome fanbase for all of our craptastic teams. If we had a “championship” caliber team we would sell out every game unlike some of these arenas I see half empty. Against Sacramento the other night I bet it was 80-85% full. Miami’s arena looks like atlantas most nights.

  12. vikesdynasty - Jan 17, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    I suggest you both re read the comments. I’m not talking about any of the story anymore. Side note: Lebron is the very best and the most humble player ever.

  13. dinofrank60 - Jan 17, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    Well, he has to shoot less, because of Wade, Bosh and Allen. He can’t take all of the shots and those guys are proven scorers.

    But I don’t think he uses his greatest attribute, his physical advantage over almost every player that guards him, enough. In the NBA, when players have that advantage, they won’t stop using it until you stop them. Do you think Melo or the Doctor or Shaq would give it up if they knew they could take their man? But, LBJ almost looks like he needs permission to post up or mix it up; maybe he doesn’t want Hibbert or Howard or Garnett to block his shot.

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