The Thunder absorbed a pair of discouraging losses to the Clippers and Warriors this week, but while their chances of title contention don’t look as strong as they did a few days ago, Kevin Durant is OK with that, as Royce Young of ESPN.com chronicles (on Twitter). Durant’s comments are particularly resonant against the backdrop of his free agency this summer, observes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link), especially in light of the report that the former MVP regards the Warriors as his top choice outside the Thunder.
“This is an exciting time for me,” Durant said. “I’m happy that we’re going through this because like I said it’s easy to be … we don’t want to be front-runners. That’s not who we are. That’s not who I am. And I’m not going to let the team be that way. When you’re losing, that’s when you really got to show your character and show who you are. We’re going to keep our heads up, all our guys are going to stay positive and keep working and learn from it.”
No team is as much of a front-runner as Golden State is, of course. See more from the Western Conference:
- Injuries have forced the Grizzlies to place a greater emphasis on younger players, from trade acquisitions Lance Stephenson and P.J. Hairston to incumbent reserves like JaMychal Green and Jarell Martin, as The Commercial Appeal’s Ronald Tillery examines.
- Suns interim coach Earl Watson was a major influence on San Antonio’s decision to sign Jonathon Simmons, stemming from his time as Simmons’ coach on the Spurs D-League affiliate last season, notes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News amid a larger look at the unlikely path the shooting guard took to the NBA.
- The Rockets assigned Montrezl Harrell and K.J. McDaniels to the D-League, the team announced (Twitter link). They join Sam Dekker, who’s already on assignment from Houston.