Thunder small forward Kevin Durant said he was shocked that the Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher, who was considered a strong link to the pending unrestricted free agent, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. Durant noted that stability was important to him in an organization, Iannazzone adds. “No matter what profession, you always want to be stable,” Durant said. “You always want to have good people around you. And you always want to work with great people. That’s how it is in Oklahoma City. … Sometimes you can put your spirit in and you can kind of dictate that environment for yourself.”
Durant did add that while he enjoys that stability with the Thunder, he could be a stabilizing force elsewhere, the Newsday scribe relays. “I think I have that ability and that capability of just improving wherever I go, also improving the environment wherever I go,” said Durant. While Durant enjoys the weekend’s All-Star festivities, here’s more from out West:
- People close to Mavs power forward Dirk Nowitzki believe he wants to play another two seasons in the NBA before retiring, Chris Ballard of SI.com said in an installment of SI Now (video link; transcription via the Dallas Morning News). Nowitzki has one year remaining on his current deal, which is a player option worth a team-friendly $8,692,184 for 2016/17.
- Scratch one potential post-NBA career off point guard Chris Paul‘s list, as the Clippers playmaker said he has no desire to join the coaching profession in the future, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post tweets.
- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle isn’t surprised that Grizzlies swingman Vince Carter is still productive at 39 years of age, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News notes. “I’m not surprised,” Carlisle said. “Vince is a great player. He’s established some unbelievable longevity. He’s been a great role player with two different clubs – us and Memphis.” Carter’s salary of approximately $4.264MM for next season is partially guaranteed for $2MM, and Commercial Appeal scribe Chris Herrington suggested recently that the Grizzlies will “almost certainly” waive him this summer and pocket the savings.