Kevin Durant first crossed paths with Stephen Curry when the two were 10 years old playing on the AAU circuit, but speaking at an event in New York this week to promote the release of the latest NBA2K video game, Durant says his first impression of the Warriors sharpshooter wasn’t at all accurate.
“I was about 10 years old, and our AAU team drove down to Charlotte to play,” Durant said. “I thought he was white. He was this yellow kid, right? I’m just being real now, right? Where I come from, in the hood, we don’t see that. We don’t see the light-skinned guys around. It was all guys like me.”
Durant didn’t just notice Curry for his looks, though. His basketball ability, even at that young age, immediately stood out.
“I walk in the gym and this guy’s stepping across half court just pulling jump shots,” Durant said. “Splash. Splash. And when we played him, he had like 35 and he was like 10 years old. I was like, who is this? And 10 years later … that was Steph Curry.”
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
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