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Kevin Durant: I thought championship would fill void, but it didn’t

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Kevin Durant has been ejected five times this season. Nobody has been ejected more since Rasheed Wallace singlehandedly forced the NBA to crack down on technical fouls.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a part of the evolution that I’m going through,” Durant told ESPN. “I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect. I don’t have all the answers. It will probably take the offseason for me to assess, ‘OK, let’s figure out how to tone this down a little.’ But I’m comfortable sharing this because all I care about is that,” he said as he pointed to the practice court.

“I love this game, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help my team get back to where we were last year. That’s what I’m excited for. That’s why you’re seeing this passion from me. Before, I used to care about the game and the lifestyle. Now, all I care about is my love for the game, the pureness of the game. This is me.”

“It’s just my emotions and passion for the game,” Durant said after Friday’s practice session. “After winning that championship (last season), I learned that much hadn’t changed. I thought it would fill a certain [void]. It didn’t. That’s when I realized in the offseason that the only thing that matters is this game and how much work you put into it. Everything else off the court, social media, perception, isn’t important. What people say, how they view you, it’s not important.

“What we did as a team was special, and I want to experience that again. My love and passion for the game has [blossomed] because I understand that’s what it’s all about, and I’m pouring all of this [newfound thirst] into this game. But I know I have to keep [my fire] under control, and I will.”

Durant has been debuting The Real Durant for years. It doesn’t always stick. He keeps trying to find himself, and I’m not sure he’s there yet. It’s hard – especially in the spotlight like he is.

I have numerous theories for Durant’s technical-foul barrage this season. Is Draymond Green rubbing off on him? Does Durant know he’s too good for the Warriors to punish him when he steps over the line? Is he bored by a long regular season on a championship favorite and picking fights to spice things up?

He’s clearly passionate, but he was passionate before, and he wasn’t getting T’d up left and right like this. He says he’ll reign it in for the playoffs, and maybe he will. But he also touted that he got ejected only late in decided games. Last night was different, as Durant got tossed to end the first half.

That was a line he publicly set for himself, and he crossed it. Looks like just part of the continuous journey of discovering himself.

Colorado junior forward Tyler Bey declares for NBA Draft

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University of Colorado forward Tyler Bey has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:

The junior averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Buffaloes. Bey shot 53% from the field overall and 74.3% at the free throw line.

Bey also extended his range a bit in his third year at Colorado. He knocked down 13-of-31 three-pointers (41.9%) on the season. At just six-foot-seven, he’ll need to be able to score from behind the arc to find a place in the NBA.

Most draft analysts have Bey pegged as an early second-round pick. Some thought he could play his way into the back-end of the first-round with strong pre-draft workouts. With the pre-draft process up in the air, NBA front offices may have to make their decisions based on what they’ve already seen in person and on tape.

Stephon Marbury has arrangement to procure 10 million medical masks for New York

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Former NBA player Stephon Marbury told The New York Post that he’s arranged a deal to deliver 10 million N95 medical masks to New York. These masks are much-needed among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marbury is having the masks produced at cost in China, where he played the last seven years of his career.

Although Marbury currently lives in Beijing, China, he said “At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn. This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

While growing up, Marbury starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and on New York City’s famed playgrounds. After one year at Georgia Tech, Marbury left for the NBA. The high-scoring guard played for five teams during his 13-year NBA career, including his hometown New York Knicks.

After sitting out for two seasons, Marbury signed to play for the Beijing Ducks in 2011. The move was initially seen as a way for Marbury to prove he could still play at an NBA level. Instead, Beijing became home-away-from home for the New Yorker.

Marbury averaged 21.6 points per game in 271 contests spread over seven seasons with the Ducks.

Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung declares for 2020 NBA Draft

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Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung told ESPN Jonathan Givony that he’s declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

McClung first came to national prominence when his high school highlights blew up on YouTube:

In his second season at Georgetown, McClung averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game. A foot injury in late-January kept McClung out of the lineup for nearly a month. He returned for one game in late-February, but played just eight minutes off the Hoyas’ bench.

The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work.

McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size. To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round.

McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.

Report: NBA Together asks players who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma

Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert
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Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the NBA Together initiative is asking NBA players who have recovered from coronavirus to consider donating plasma:

NBA Together was created in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season.

One of the efforts NBA Together is supporting is the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. This project has brought together top medical specialists to determine if plasma donations could help in treating coronavirus.

Several NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19. This group includes Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons. All players reported either feeling no symptoms or have recovered from the affliction.