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Kevin Durant cool with The Oklahoman headline; Russell Westbrook: ‘That’s BS’

May 1, 2014, 1:45 PM EST

Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four Getty Images

Fresh off a season that will win him Most Valuable player, Kevin Durant missed a game-tying free throw and then missed a game-winning 3-pointer in a Game 5 loss to the Grizzlies. He’s shooting 40 percent from the field and 29 percent on 3-pointers in the series.

The Oklahoman dubbed him “Mr. Unreliable.”

Fair?

The Oklahoman’s sports editor says no.

So does Durant’s mom.

As does Russell Westbrook.

Durant actually says yes.

This is why Durant is great.* He never takes the easy way out.

The headline as intended – to reflect the Memphis series only – is pretty accurate. For a sure-fire MVP winner, Durant has been unreliable in this series.

But everyone took it to mean overall, and that’s why The Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman backtracked. He wasn’t apologizing for the message, just that the newspaper didn’t deliver it properly.

Durant understands the distinction, though he could have easily harped on his overall reliability. Instead, he’s taking responsibility for his play this series, and that’s a good step toward playing more reliably going forward, beginning in Game 6 tonight.

*Westbrook’s reaction is also why he’s great. I love the chip he always carries on his shoulder, the non-stop passion. How he plays on the court carried over into his response and vice versa.

  1. au1978 - May 1, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Of course he’s going to say that publicly, but if he was ever thinking of leaving OKC in free agency, that headline simply fanned the flame.

    • mackcarrington - May 1, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      I hope he isn’t THAT sensitive. To leave town because of ONE headline?

      • reesesteel23 - May 1, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        Exactly….everyone here is only saying he’ll leave because it increases their teams chances of getting him lol

    • packergator - May 2, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      I think KD did all the talking he needed to do on Thursday night.

  2. SuckForLuck - May 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    40% really? That’s not a MVP percentage. LBJ all day

    • usavebob - May 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      It’s the playoffs. Defensive intensity is crazy. But, the physicality has affected his ability to have enough energy to play defense. Tony Allen has been exceptional. Durant needs a couple more rest periods, short as they might be.

      • zoomy123 - May 1, 2014 at 5:14 PM

        Defensive intensity is crazy? That’s your excuse? LOLOL! Imagine if Kobe Bryant or Tim Duncan or Lebron James were having this kind of series. Imagine if they shot 5 for 21 in game 4 on the road when their team was down 2 games to 1. Would you be saying, “No biggie. Defensive intensity is crazy”? I don’t think so.

    • totallyuselessme - May 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Tony Allen is, bar none, the best one on one defender in the NBA today.

      Shooting 40% with Allen smothering you actually IS pretty impressive.

      • dacapt704 - May 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

        Funny how everyone says that but I’ve never seen Tony Allen shut anyone down before…Durant just needs to step the heck up and be more aggressive. I KNOW TA is a great defender but come on..dude is 6 inches shorter than KD, he should be ashamed to even acknowledge how he’s been affected by him.

  3. jucam1 - May 1, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Your sad little city shouldn’t have a team. Only Stern’s incompetence would allow a real city to lose a team, and yet now you complain because the 2nd best player in the NBA didn’t make a shot at the end of a game?… Is that newspaper serious?… It’ll be good when KD and Russ leave in a couple of years because no player would ever want to play in that tiny town.

    • void96eater - May 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Other than the threat of tornadoes, I don’t see why free agents wouldn’t want to go to OKC. I heard it’s a nice place.

      • asimonetti88 - May 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        No beaches and I heard they don’t have good guacamole.

  4. grantgoodman93 - May 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Spoiled fanbase. Stepped into a championship contender with a once in a decade player.

    • gameisours - May 1, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Don’t generalize. If one editor writes such idiotic title, that doesn’t mean we all stand for that.

      • kinggw - May 1, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        True, but that doesn’t mean grantgoodman is wrong.

    • reesesteel23 - May 1, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Spoiled by what exactly?

  5. mcfleezy12 - May 1, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    Ah Karma! Seattle gets a championship this past winter and OKC is falling apart. I love this game!

  6. 6thsense10 - May 1, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    OKC is a college market that really should feel fortunate to have an NBA team of this caliber. The former Supersonics was ripped from Seattle, then they lucked up when Portland selected Oden first overall and Durant fell into their laps….. They also lucked up that Durant is a different type of superstar else he would have high tailed it to the brighter lights of the big city. The headline was a little disrespectful. Something you expect in Boston or NY…but they can get away with it because those are big cities where stars come and go…..OKC is not a destination for most stars.

    • calkinsrob - May 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      all valid points. but dont take credit away from OKC’s front office. drafting durant, westbrook, harden, and ibaka takes more than just luck.

      • sportsfan18 - May 1, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Don’t forget that they could NOT have drafted Durant had Portland taken him…

        I mean, with the #2 choice that year, EVERY team would have taken Durant after Portland chose Oden.

        I mean it was Oden and Durant for #1 all along and everyone knew the other would go #2.

        Now, taking Westbrook at #4 or wherever he was drafted took balls…

  7. thenew013 - May 1, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Maybe this is like a clever motivation tactic. I guess we will find out if it worked tonight. Like millions of dollars isn’t motivation enough. like being champions of the world isn’t motivation enough. Like having thousands of screaming fans that put your jersey on their own children’s back isn’t enough. Like…you see where I’m going with this.

    • ranfan12 - May 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      That sounds like even more added pressure

  8. mogogo1 - May 1, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    I absolutely hate those sorts of apologies where it’s all “we” like the entire newspaper staff was responsible for the headline. This was somebody’s personal call. If it was the sports editor’s he needs to personally apologize. If it was the main editor, he should be saying he goofed. Instead they make it sound like the janitor and the local delivery boy had a hand in it, too.

  9. ranfan12 - May 1, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Westbrook and durant to score 30 each tonigt on +45% shooting

    • sportsfan18 - May 1, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      Durant, barely with the 45% with 11 of 23 from the field and he hit 30 by getting so many free throws that he finished with 36 points.

      I can see why you said that about Durant with his track record…

      Now Westbrook on the other hand… he just missed the 45% with his 9 of 21 and he “only” scored 25 points…

      I hope you didn’t bet money on both of these happening tonight…

      • ranfan12 - May 2, 2014 at 1:57 AM

        I bet on kevin durant and a win for OKC, but I forgot about westbrook. I was close though lol.

  10. seattlesuperchronic - May 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    If the Thunder get bounced by Memphis, that’s going to be one sad MVP ceremony for Durant.

  11. papadawa - May 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    There are three distinct problems, yet, connecting problems that are killing the Thunders chances for success…1. Russell Westbrook does NOT have a true point guard mentality…which is what the Thunder needs…the point guard must be the leader on the floor and insure that he keeps everyone involved, and in the right frame, offensively and defensively…Westbrook doesn’t do that…2. The Thunder doesn’t have a low post present offensively, therefore, it is much easier to concentrate defensively on Durant, Westbrook, and the rest of the players too, for that matter…this presents a problem defensively also…Perkins is too slow and limited to be counted on to consistently, protect the rim/paint…3. Scott Brooks has, this year, shown himself to be ineffective as a coach…at least, for this team…this series with the Grizzlies has exposed, both, he and the front office, as being lacking…the fact that they have not made a move to bring in someone to replace Perkins and shore up their interior offense and defense is reprehensible…It would be interesting to see what the Thunder would be like with Gortat at center, Darren Collison at the point and Lionel Hollins or Stan Van Gundy as coach…

    • gpatrick15 - May 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      I’m in favore bringing in Hollins or SVG, established coaches with the know how on to be effective on both ends of the court. And as far as replacing Perkins goes, I’d have never started him again after Steve Adams played effectively enough when Perkins went down with an injury. Adams at least showed that he can rebound on both ends. He may not be a defensive anchor yet, but he did what they asked him to do, and his repayment is to sit on the bench while someone far inferior to him gets the start every game. The way Brooks does his guys, I’m surprised there hasn’t been a player mutiny yet from the bench players.

    • unxpexted1 - May 1, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      Normally I’m all for bangin on kendrick perkins, but I have to give him credit. He has done good work on Randolph.

    • sportsfan18 - May 1, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      Darren Collison sucks…

      I get your points that you were making and agree with them… but he isn’t a good point guard…

  12. reesesteel23 - May 1, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    LA, Philly, Boston, New York are wayyyy worse than anything that newspaper said. This will be the absolute worst he endures while playing in OKC

  13. reesesteel23 - May 1, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    As for MamaDurant..

    Typical Oklahoman? You mean the fans that don’t take a SEAT until the first bucket is made? The fans that never stop yelling even when OKC is down 20/30 points? or do you mean this One windbag, whoever he is, trying to make headlines, literally.

    • brutl - May 1, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      She was talking about the newspaper, dude. It’s called the Oklahoman.

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