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Northwest Notes: Durant, Mudiay, Papanikolaou

Kevin Durant is well known around the league for his humility, which was certainly on display when he called teammate Russell Westbrook the best player on the Thunder, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman relays. The Slim Reaper’s comments came mere months after he had proclaimed himself the “world’s best player,” Slater notes. When asked about Westbrook comment, Durant explained, “That’s how I feel. And he feels the same about me. We hold each other on that pedestal. That’s what makes us great teammates. I believe he’s the best player in the world, and he believes the same about me. Of course I’m gonna say that. There’s gonna be nights where I’m the best player on the team. There’s gonna be nights where he’s the best player on the team, when Dion Waiters is the best player on the team. That’s how I feel about my teammates. A lot of people may read into it but any given night it’s different.

Here’s more from out of the Northwest:

  • Not surprisingly, Nuggets coach Michael Malone doesn’t have the doubts about Emmanuel Mudiay‘s ability that Byron Scott said he had going into the draft, when the Lakers picked D’Angelo Russell instead. Bill Oram of the Orange County Register has the details. “Unlike some others, we feel he is a point guard that can make good decisions and we feel he’s going to showcase that throughout the season,” Malone said.
  • Kostas Papanikolaou‘s two-year, minimum salary deal with the Nuggets includes a partial guarantee of $350K for the 2015/16 season, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders relays (via Twitter).
  • Thunder big man Enes Kanter is fitting in well with the team and the community, a distinct difference from his time spent in Utah with the Jazz, Nick Gallo of writes. “Enes has really embraced the community since he arrived in Oklahoma City last season,” said Christine Berney, the Thunder’s Vice President of Community Relations. “From planting trees in Myriad Gardens during NBA Green Week last spring to stopping by the OKC Turkish Festival this fall to visiting the kids and families at OU and Children’s Hospital after the tragedy at OSU’s Homecoming parade, Enes has been so generous with his time. He’s a great ambassador for the team, and a pleasure to work with.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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