Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh “a fake tough guy”

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Kevin Durant and Chris Bosh had some words today in the Thunder’s loss to the Heat, and then spoke some even stronger words to the press post-game. In the first quarter, the two were involved in a small altercation of words that resulted in double technicals for both stars. Bosh says the altercation was the product of Durant encouraging James Harden to dunk on Bosh. From The Oklahoman:

“He was telling Harden to dunk on me,” Bosh said. “He said dunk the next one. I expressed that, no, he’s not going to dunk that. And he expressed, yes he is. We just kind of went back and forth. I don’t think it was anything to get a tech over. It was just talking.”

via Kevin Durant Rips Chris Bosh | Thunder Rumblings.

But the stronger words were from Durant, who called Chris Bosh a “fake tough guy.”

“I was talking to my teammate and [Bosh] decided he wanted to put his two cents into it. I am quiet guy, laid back guy, but I’m not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit. There are a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them.”

“I’m no punk. I wasn’t even talking to him first off. He decided to butt in and I’m not going to just let that slide. Especially in our house. Like I said, he’s not one of those guys I look at and say he has a rap for talking back to guys or getting into it. He’s a nice guy. I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”

via Kevin Durant calls Chris Bosh a ‘fake tough guy’ – CBSSports.com.

For a guy as vanilla as KD, that’s the equivalent of calling someone a dirty word. Durant himself has been described as super nice, even as this more competitive side starts to poke through more and more. Bosh has taken a considerable flak for not being “tough” inside, but he also did superb work against a weaker Thunder interior, with a combination of hook shots, inside layups off the cut and his preferred mid-range jumper. That Durant has words for him is pretty indicative of where Bosh’s reputation has landed.

Still, if Durant didn’t have the fan-friendly reputation he has, you have to wonder if he would be slapped with a sore-loser comment. But because he’s Durant, and Bosh is, well, like a Bosh, this will probably only serve to make Durant more  a hero to the people.

With the Heat and Thunder expected to both be contenders over the next half-decade, we may have the start of a rivalry here.

 

 

Kawhi Leonard returns Tuesday on minutes restriction

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The Spurs have been the Spurs this season, going 19-8 with an elite defense and offense that’s good enough to get them wins, thanks to LaMarcus Aldridge playing at an All-Star level.

Starting Tuesday, they add Kawhi Leonard back to the mix.

He will return to the lineup against Dallas, but will be on a minutes restriction, coach Gregg Popovich said on Tuesday. He would not say how many minutes, although around 20 seems a logical starting spot.

Leonard is one of the five best players in the NBA (and that may be selling him short). He averaged a career-high 25.5 points a game last season, he’s arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA, and he finished third in the MVP voting last season.

However, there are going to be adjustments. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the focal point of the offense, but he could see fewer touches, particularly in crunch time. Kyle Anderson could see fewer minutes, and Rudy Gay may as well because Popovich liked some small-ball lineups last season with Leonard at the four. A lot of players will see their rotations change.

That said, it’s the Spurs. Do we really expect them to be anything but an incredibly good regular season team? One that is about to get better?

 

 

 

Pelicans’ Tony Allen out 3-4 weeks with fibula fracture

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The injuries just keep hitting the Pelicans. Guys like Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca are out for extended periods of time. Anthony Davis has missed four of the team’s last six games and is questionable for Wednesday night due to a left adductor injury.

Now comes the news that reserve guard Tony Allen will be out three to four weeks due to a nondisplaced left proximal fibula fracture, the team announced Tuesday. This is the part of the bone near the ankle.

Allen has played a limited role for New Orleans off the bench this season, averaging 12.4 minutes a game, and averaging 4.7 points. His reputation is that of a defensive stopper, and when he is on the court this season the Pelicans’ defense has been 5.6 points per 100 possessions better. However, father time has started to catch up with him and he is not the defender he once was.

Expect the minutes to bump up for Jrue Holiday and E'Twaun Moore with this injury, which is not a bad thing as they have played well (they were knocking down threes against the Rockets Monday like they were named Curry), plus Ian Clark could get a little more run.

Watch Kawhi Leonard chop boards ‘karate styyyle’ (video)

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Kawhi Leonard, enabled by the Spurs’ no-nonsense culture, is probably the NBA’s most boring superstar.

He’s widely recognized as the league’s best defender, and he has worked himself into an elite offensive threat. He has already won a Finals MVP, and regular-season MVP could eventually be in the cards.

But Leonard is notoriously reserved. For someone who has been on this stage for so long, we know little about him.

Except we now know he apparently likes karate.

Leonard:

Gonna chop y’all up. Look at all of us. Karate styyyle.

If “karate styyyle” doesn’t become Leonard’s catchphrase, I don’t even know what we’re doing.

Leonard will finally have the chance to chop up an NBA opponent tonight, when he makes his return from injury.

Michael C. Wright of ESPN:

Kevin Durant brings fan to tears with autographed shoes (video)

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Kevin Durant has become a villain to many.

Clearly not to this Warriors fan, though.