And-Ones: Durant, Front Offices, Combine

Kevin Durant believes it’s unfair to criticize the top players for sitting out games, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com relays. “The truth about it is, it’s only for a couple of players in the league,” Durant told Haynes. “They don’t care if the 13th man on the bench rests. It’s only for like [LeBron James], [Stephen Curry], [James Harden], [Russell Westbrook]. It’s only for like five players. So you want a rule just for those five players?”

“It’s hard for you to just craft a rule out for the top players. I’ve seen guys that’s not even in the playoffs resting, sitting out for the rest of the season. And it’s nothing against those guys. I’m not trying to bash them or anything. [Suns center] Tyson Chandler is out. They got him sitting out for the rest of the year. I’m sure he wants to play, but they’re not saying anything about Tyson Chandler, so it’s hard for me to really talk about this. It’s not a league-wide rule. It’s not a league-wide concern.”

Durant added that he empathizes with fans who miss out on seeing their favorite player when they come to the arena. “I see it from the fans’ perspective and the players’ perspective,” Durant said. “I’m caught right in the middle.”

While the 2013/14 league MVP feels bad for those fans who show up the arena, he gives the situation some perspective.

“On the other hand, there’s a lot of people that can’t even afford tickets to the game. So, I kind of feel sorry for you, but then I don’t when I look at it that way,” he added. “Your parents spend hard-earned money, I understand you want to see your favorite players, but there’s some people who don’t even get a chance to watch a game live.”

Durant hasn’t played since February because of a knee injury, but the team recently announced that he has made “very good progress.” The small forward could see court-time again before the end of the season.

While we wait for Durant to get healthy so his fans can see him play, check out some notes from around the league:

  • ESPN.com examined every front office in the league and ranked them from top to bottom based on the guidance and leadership each organization provides and how it affects success on the court. Unsurprisingly, team president Gregg Popovich and GM R.C. Buford received the highest mark. Which team received the worst mark? The Kings came in slightly below the Knicks for worst front office in the league.
  • Thunder assistant GM Mike Winger, Spurs assistant GM Brian Wright, Nets assistant GM Trajan Langdon are among the executives who are viewed as potential nominees for GM roles should they become available, Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com writes. Arnovitz adds that Wright may be a few seasons away from landing a gig, but those within the league believe he has what it takes to do the job well.
  • JK Management announced that it will hold the first annual Professional Basketball Combine at IMG Academy. The PBC will take place in the days following the league’s official combine in Chicago.
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11 thoughts on “And-Ones: Durant, Front Offices, Combine

  1. Z-A

    League-wide tank jobs. Yet the Sixers are the only ones that get bashed. When they talk about the Suns and Lakers tanking the media puppets laugh.

    • Well for a couple of years, the Sixers were clearly tanking as their best players would’ve been role players on other teams. I agree that the Lakers and Suns don’t get enough hate for their tank jobs, but that’s more because they’re bad. The Suns picking up veterans like Dudley and Chandler showed that they were at least trying to be competitive. Same with the Lakers’ signings of Mozgov and Deng.

  2. While most people pay to see the stars, I agree with Durant. A potential rule against resting players would mainly be targeting the top players in the league. Veterans like Chandler on bad teams are held out for the rest of the season with a month or two to go but the league doesn’t make a statement about that (especially when the league should be against tanking and teams doing that are clearly tanking if there is no injury involved). While there’s probably few, if any, fans out there whose favorite player is one of those role players (like Chandler), I’m sure if there are, they’d be just as upset as possibly not being able to see their favorite player as other fans are about not seeing the star players.

  3. I mean, the obvious comparison is concerts. If I go to a concert to see XYZ play, and the day of I show up and find out XYZ isn’t playing you get your funds back; and that especially true if the headliner cancels.

    If I spend my hard earned money on tickets to a game to obviously see the main team play… I want to see them play. If you are injured fine. If you want to rest one of your 3 stars for a night, fine. But you don’t do what Golden State did against the Spurs a few weeks back. A gentleman’s rule should be fine for something like this. Don’t be an @ss to your fan base. Pretty simple.

  4. padam

    Exactly. Besides, isn’t the off season tube to rest? When they negotiate their contracts, it’s business. So is showing up for games.

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