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LeBron, on OKC newspaper blasting Kevin Durant: ‘K.D.’s got to be a free agent at some point’

May 2, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

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Kevin Durant did exactly what he was supposed to do on Thursday, after his hometown newspaper admittedly missed the mark by blasting the Thunder star with a huge headline that dubbed Durant “Mr. Unreliable.”

This season’s MVP-to-be went out and scored 36 points to help force a Game 7 against the Grizzlies, one which should be a whole lot easier to win now that Zach Randolph has been suspended for a punch he landed to the face of Steven Adams.

As with any tidbit of controversy surrounding the game’s biggest stars, LeBron James was asked to weigh in on the situation. And he was more than happy to chide the paper for its treatment of the Thunder’s best player.

From Michael Wallace of ESPN.com:

“I don’t think that was a great idea,” James said. “Not your hometown paper. Not with a team you helped to get to the NBA Finals, [and will] potentially be an MVP, a multiple scoring champ and have led his team to a place it’s never been before.”

James then paused briefly before referring to Durant’s potential decision to play elsewhere after his contract ends with the Thunder following the 2015-16 season.

“K.D.’s got to be a free agent at some point,” said James, who rocked the league when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven seasons to sign with Miami as a free agent in 2010.

LeBron knew exactly what he had said, and reportedly joked with reporters that he had given them their national headline of the day. But there was some truth in there, as well.

If you really break it down, the headline thing was overblown, because it was ultimately just one person’s decision. But as the newspaper of record in a smaller market like Oklahoma City, it carries significant weight, and can help to influence the opinions of the town’s more casual sports fans.

Durant may some day leave in free agency, and so much more will happen between then and now that this little headline issue will have long become a distant memory. But a memory it will remain, and for that reason alone, LeBron is absolutely right.

  1. void96eater - May 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    I don’t think this news headline will be a major factor with KD’s upcoming free agency decision. I think he’ll be more concerned about the front office. They have to do something about Scott Brooks and/or Kendrick Perkins because both are, clearly, failing the team.

    • philadelphiafan - May 3, 2014 at 1:15 AM

      I agree for the most part with your last sentence. I want to see how OKC finishes out the season in regards to Scott Brooks, but my god can they please get Perkins out of there. I get that he helps them on the boards but he has no offensive game whatsoever and is a liability from the free throw line. Even though big men are at a premium there’s got to be someone out there more effective than Kendrick Perkins.

      • 00millerfortune - May 3, 2014 at 4:07 AM

        He helps them on the boards (4.9 RPG) ?????
        This is news to me.

      • uwbsu2014 - May 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        It would be fun to imagine how good this team would be if not for Perkins and Brooks! Perkins ranked 396 out of 448 players in 2013 in Per rankings with him obviously being the lowest starter, and joining names of people who are only known to their local small time college boosters and D league fanatics.

        Perkins was named as the worst starter in the big 4 professional sports in America, and in last years playoffs he was the first player in history to have a negative rating. IN HISTORY OF THE GAME. He is bad on epic proportions and yes OKC fans PER does take into account rebounding and defense!

        It is not to bold to say that if OKC had a center who did not hurt them so bad that they would be CHAMPS and if the had a center who actually helped the team, they would be unstoppable. Imagine OKC with either Gasol, Gortat, or Noah, or omg if they had HIBBERT or Howard or Duncan. THEY WOULD BE UNSTOPPABLE.

  2. jzone954 - May 2, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    Boom

  3. remyje - May 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    i can’t wait to hear about how durant could never stand playing with westbrook soon as they split up

    • apkyletexas - May 2, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      And how ticked off he was that they let Harden go. Amazing.

  4. lj312chicago - May 2, 2014 at 9:17 PM

    That’s cute LeQueen but some players are actually extremely loyal and like to earn what they get….they just don’t run away when things get tough and team up with a bunch of future hall of famer…

    • elcapitanfiscal - May 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      You mad?

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 3, 2014 at 7:39 AM

        Of course he is. Miami’s pitch for Lebron worked while Chicago’s didn’t. One might</.i< get over that in three years, but some folks take longer than others.

      • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 3, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        * One might get over that in three years, but some folks take longer than others.

      • 22yearsagotoday - May 3, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        KD needs his championships, too. Perhaps a move would give him his best chance. There are many teams that would take him in a heartbeat. An MVP is great but nothing equals a championships, as all the great ones would agree on, even Charles Barkley and guys like that who never got a ring.

  5. mackcarrington - May 2, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Don’t these guys know that a newspaper’s job is not necessarily to be a PR division of the hometown team, but to criticize when it’s warranted. And are these guys really that thin skinned to cry about ONE critical headline. And besides, the paper already twisted itself into a pretzel to apologize. The news media aren’t paid by the teams, and I’m sure they support the team more than they tear it down.

  6. kb2408 - May 2, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Translation: When he becomes a free agent don’t be shocked if he leaves your franchise for greener pastures like I left Cleveland.

    • blueintown - May 2, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Thanks. I was unclear as to what LeBron had implied. I was like “Kevin Durants goin’ to Cleveland, whaaaa?’.

    • 00millerfortune - May 3, 2014 at 4:10 AM

      Or browner pastures like Dwight…

    • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      Grass ain’t greener,
      Wine ain’t sweeter,
      Either side of the hill!
      Except for west of
      Interstate-5.

  7. sumkat - May 2, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    I don’t disagree that the headline was stupid. But I don’t agree at all with James premise. What, no paper is allowed to be critical of the “stars” on their home team out of fear they may leave? The very idea just seems unbelievably childish

    • Jeff - May 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Well that’s because James is childish.

  8. haaaaasoooooo - May 2, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    @blueintown. Laughing so hard I’m crying!

  9. dirtyjerseysports - May 2, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    LeHGH talking about running away what a shock

    • cantonbound13 - May 3, 2014 at 5:01 AM

      Lol! LeHGH, funny!

      • zeedoubleyou - May 3, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        Even funnier that’s all you have to try to say against him.

      • jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Pea brains are limited but this pea brain’s dumb as sin.

      • cantonbound13 - May 3, 2014 at 9:06 PM

        You mad that it’s getting obvious to many he’s on PEDs?

  10. wiskybuck - May 2, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    James can’t win a ring without help. Wade is getting old so now he needs another star to help him.

    • nfl4days - May 2, 2014 at 11:56 PM

      Julius Irving didn’t win a ring until he teamed up with HOFer Moses Malone. MJ didn’t win a ring until HOFer scottie Pippen and eventually got the help of HOFer Dennis Rodman as well. Magic Johnson had Kareem. I could go on and on. You can’t win a ring without help. Period. Lebron had the choice of teaming up with two future HOFers in the beautiful city of Miami, or staying in Cleveland where the most help he had was freakin mo williams.

      • sumkat - May 3, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        Jordan had serveral titles before Rodman got there. His PF at the time was Horace Grant

        Nice attempt though

    • antistratfordian - May 3, 2014 at 2:10 AM

      He kind of won a ring without much help the last two times. Wade’s finals average over the last two (20.8 / 4.8 / 4.8) isn’t exactly Pippen-level during his first three-peat (21.1 / 9.3 / 7.3). It’s not even Kobe-level during his last two rings with Shaq (25.5 / 6.8 / 5.5).

      So you could argue that LeBron won multiple rangs without his 2nd in command producing like Scottie Pippen did for MJ or Kobe Bryant did for Shaq.

  11. mazblast - May 2, 2014 at 10:58 PM

    Ordinarily, that would be considered tampering, but in the David Stern NBA (never mind who has the title of Commissioner, we know who’s in charge), some players and teams are more equal than others.

    There is some irony here. The Plain Dealer tied itself in knots for years to suck up to LeBaby, always blaming the Cavs’ playoff losses on anyone but the pampered child, and he still left.

    • blueintown - May 2, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Turns out the Plain Dealer was 100% correct for their allocation of blame, because then he started playing with superior players and winning championships.

      And how in God’s name is that tampering?

  12. larrydavid7000 - May 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    KD will go to WASHINGTON to join the 2 Outstanding guards.!!!!!! Championship. !!!!!!!!

    • void96eater - May 3, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      I can see this happening. He is a DC native.

  13. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 3, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    KD wants to carry a team to a title, not sit shotgun like LBJ.

    • totallyuselessme - May 3, 2014 at 8:04 AM

      You, sir, are a moron.

  14. blueintown - May 3, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    That editor should be fired, then picked up by probasketballtalk.com.

  15. nicofthenorthstar - May 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    El BJ doesn’t know what the word loyalty means. He will do whatever it takes in the pursuit of fame, money, and his own basketball legacy. For El BJ it is about him, the individual. Not the team.
    Hopefully Durant will continue to prove that he is a better man than that.

    • blueintown - May 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      This is an astonishingly strange and stupid comment, but have a thumbs up for “El BJ” because it made me giggle.

  16. jimeejohnson - May 3, 2014 at 6:26 PM

    Ain’t no time to hate. Hoping KD wins more than JUST an MVP and soon. He’s a great one and super fun to watch. I wouldn’t want to have to guard him unless I could change my name to Tony Allen.

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