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Kevin Durant: ‘People hate the fact that I play for the Warriors, and people hate the fact that I’m so damn good at basketball’

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After the Heat lost in the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James said:

“All the people that were rooting for me to fail… at the end of the day, tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before they woke up today,” James said. “They got the same personal problems they had today. And I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do.”

This sounds like Kevin Durant‘s version of that infamous quote.

Durant on Posted Up With Chris Haynes:

I’ve come to the conclusion that people hate the fact that I play for the Warriors, and people hate the fact that I’m so damn good at basketball. They don’t like that combination.

And so, that brings out jealousy, envy. Even if it’s through comments, even if it’s through slick comments through the media or people testing my manhood on TV, they just cannot stand that somebody like me is so successful and doing it a way that they didn’t want me to do it.

So, it’s not my fault, when I say something, you get in your feelings. It’s that you’ve got something underlying against me already. So, no matter what I say or how I approach anything, it’s going to be a problem if I don’t agree with you, because you just don’t like me. You know what I’m saying? And that’s just the facts. A lot of people want to say facts about me, but that’s the facts.

You don’t like that I play for the Warriors and you don’t like that I’m so f—ing good at basketball. And you put those two together, and you get nothing but magic. And it’s just basketball nirvana, and people don’t like that. So, they just jealous of what I’ve got.

And I don’t mind calling you out on your bulls—.

Sometimes, Durant has jumped headfirst into his supervillain status. Other times, he has lamented how has been treated and tried to steer the conversation in other directions, most infamously through burner Instagram comments.

Clearly, joining the Warriors hasn’t been everything Durant expected. The big question: What will he do about it? He can become a free agent next summer, and he can shift the conversation by choosing a new team.

In the meantime, he’s right: People resent his and Golden State’s collective success. The deck is seen as too stacked in the Warriors’ favor. Because of that, people don’t give Durant the benefit of the doubt on anything he says or does. This quote certainly won’t go over well.

That said, no player could get caught posting burner Instagram comments and escape mocking. Durant earned that one. It had nothing to do with preconceived notions about him, though those did stoke the flames.

At least Durant now realizes where he stands. Maybe that will help him find happiness.

Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor to host ‘NBA Countdown’

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Things just keep getting better for NBA fans when it comes to national TV broadcasts.

It was announced in August that TNT would be doing away with the “Players Only” broadcast that appeared on NBA TV. Those broadcast crews were roundly criticized as being meandering and uninformed when it came to the product on the floor.

Now fans are getting more of what they want in the form of Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor.

According to a report from Richard Deitsch, Nichols and Taylor will be the hosts of ESPN’s pregame show, NBA Countdown.

Paul Pierce and Chauncey Billups Won’t return as analysts on the pregame show next year, leaving just Jalen Rose. That means there are a couple of spots open, and we don’t yet know who ESPN will fill them with. Nichols will reportedly continue to host her regular show “The Jump”.

As the league continues to get more popular, it makes sense that broadcast partners listen to the audience. Nichols is an NBA favorite, so having her be more visible makes a lot of sense.

NBA players roast Kyle Kuzma over outfit posted to Instagram (PHOTOS)

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Kyle Kuzma is going to be expected to have a big year for the Los Angeles Lakers. He thinks he can have the impact of a third star for L.A., a team that didn’t add Kawhi Leonard to go alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis this summer.

That’s big talk from Kuzma, but perhaps that talk has boosted his confidence a little bit. In a photo posted to Instagram this week, Kuzma could be seen wearing… whatever this is.

Via Twitter:

Twitter had a great time with Kuzma outfit, which looks like something pulled straight out of an early 2000s episode of TRL.

Kuzma’s contemporaries in the NBA thought he was getting a little wild with it, too, with several hopping onto the post to roast the Lakers big man.

Via Twitter:

I don’t know what this means for the upcoming Lakers season, but I’m sure it’s something interesting.

Draymond Green says he’s ‘at a loss for words about’ DeMarcus Cousins injury

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Everyone has been upset about the recent ACL tear suffered by DeMarcus Cousins. The Los Angeles Lakers big man just can’t seem to catch a break, and has injured his Achilles, quad, and now ACL in the span of two years.

Last year was supposed to be one of retribution for Cousins with the Golden State Warriors, but the results were disappointing. Even still, the Lakers decided to take a chance on Cousins as they tried to push for supremacy in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile folks have shown their support for the former Sacramento Kings All-Star, with Draymond Green being the most recent star to offer comment. The former Warriors teammate of Cousins told ESPN how he felt about the injury this week.

Via ESPN and Marc Spears of The Undefeated:

“One of my goals coming into this season was for DeMarcus to destroy everybody and come back and show how great of a player he is and get what I think he deserves,” Green told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. “I’m really at a loss for words about it. It’s one that really hurt me for sure.”

Cousins is now 29 years old, and the question is whether he will ever return to any kind of form approaching what he had in Sacramento. His injuries have been devastating, and they are the kind that few have returned from to play at an elite level in the NBA.

Cousins appears to be fast approaching a spot in NBA history with other potential greats whose careers were ruined by injury. Hopefully he can find a way to avoid that track.

Rumor: Jeremy Lin, open to playing in China, now in talks with Beijing Ducks

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Jeremy Lin does not appear to be on the radar of any NBA teams at this juncture. It has been an up-and-down summer for Lin, who won a championship with the Toronto Raptors back in June but finds himself a free agent here in August.

Lin has already said that it’s been extremely tough for him to go without a contract this offseason, and it was reported that he turned down a deal with CSKA Moscow to pursue further NBA opportunities.

Now there are murmurs that Lin could be headed to China to play for the Beijing Ducks. According to Sportando, Chinese reporter Sonx Xiang is saying that Lin and the Ducks are closing in on a deal.

NBA players can go on to have lucrative careers in the CBA. Lin is still a decent enough scorer at the NBA level, and it’s most likely he would fit into the Chinese game quite well.

As a branding and personal opportunity, China could fit Lin nicely. He’s currently on his annual tour of Asia, helping kids across several countries with basketball camps and charitable concerns.

The South China Morning Post has reported that Lin said he would be willing to play in the CBA. Lin also told website Radii of his trips to China that, “When I go there, I feel the most at home.”

Make no bones about it, Lin would much rather play in the NBA this season. Looking at his numbers on Synergy, it’s sort of surprising that nobody would want him as a third point guard on a minimum deal. But in the meantime, Lin has spent a significant amount of time in China and feels a kind of purpose when he’s there.

If he’s got to be away from home — and away from the NBA — this might be the best option for Lin available right now.