Pacific Notes: Durant, Bates-Diop, Curry, Joseph

Kevin Durant takes credit for helping to lift the NBA’s ban on marijuana and talks about his desire to eventually get into ownership in an interview with CNBC, relays Dana Scott of The Arizona Republic.

The Suns star, who’s involved in cannabis business ventures, said he reached out to commissioner Adam Silver about removing the drug prohibitions from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players were previously required to enter the league’s treatment and counseling program after a first offense and faced fines and suspensions for multiple violations.

“I actually called him and advocated for him to take marijuana off the banned substance list,” Durant said. “I just felt like it was becoming a thing around the country, around the world that it was the stigma behind it wasn’t as negative as it was before. It doesn’t affect you in any negative way.”

Durant talked about his numerous business interests, which he said were starting to take up too much of his time. He and his agent, Rich Kleiman, agreed that he’ll take a step back from those commitments to focus more on basketball. Durant also discussed his longtime dream of becoming an NBA team owner, preferably with a new franchise in Seattle, where he debuted in the league.

“That would be cool for sure in a perfect world,” Durant said. “Whatever opportunity comes up, hopefully I can be a part of something special. But yeah, Seattle would be the ideal spot. They deserve to have a team there again, and I would love to be a part of the NBA in that fashion. But we’ll see.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Keita Bates-Diop is a defensive specialist, but he can help the Suns‘ offense as well, Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports writes in an examination of what the free agent forward will bring to the team. “I think you’re gonna be surprised at some of the stuff he’s able to do around the rim with his length,” said Doug McDermott, who played alongside Bates-Diop in San Antonio. “Like, he can finish layups I’ve never seen just ’cause how long his arms are.”
  • In a new PBS documentary, Warriors guard Stephen Curry says he still feels like he’s in “the prime of my career, in a sense of what I’m able to accomplish.” The project, titled ‘Stephen Curry: Underrated,’ traces his journey from unproven prospect to the top three-point shooter in NBA history.
  • Veteran guard Cory Joseph is thrilled to have the chance to back up Curry and Chris Paul after signing a one-year deal with the Warriors, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Joseph called it an “unbelievable opportunity” during an introductory press conference via Zoom. “I get to learn from two of the greats to ever do it at their position,” he said. “I’m extremely excited. I’m sure I’ll get there and learn a lot from them.”
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