SH Blog: Durant wants to join the 50-40-90 club, Howard yells at Bryant

  • Kevin Durant says people want him and LeBron James to hate each other. Too bad they’re friends, according to John Rohde of The Oklahoman: “Well, I really appreciate that comment because people want us to hate each other so bad. That’s true. People want us to hate each other,” Durant said with a smile. “I really respect him and I really compete against him hard — him and Kobe (Bryant). I play against those guys, they’re the guys who I’m looking at, who I want to get to, and I compete against those guys really, really hard, but we’re friends. We’re friends, everybody knows that. Once you get on that court and you’re playing against one of your friends, you play to win no matter what. Sometimes he might get the best of you, I might get the best of him one time. But I really respect him (James) and that’s cool that he thinks of me that way and I’ve just got to keep working hard to continue to get better.”
  • Durant hopes to join the 50-40-90 club this season, according to Sam Amick of USA Today: “What he doesn’t have and so badly wants, however, is a 50-40-90 season like Bird had in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons – 50% from the field, 40% from three-point range and 90% from the line. It has only been done 11 times by players who played the large majority of the season, with Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki the last small forward to do it, in 2006-07, and Lakers point guard Steve Nash has done it four times. It’s the sort of goal that makes the grind of an 82-game season more manageable, the kind of statistical pursuit that both motivates him individually and raises the bar collectively. Sustained excellence requires projects such as these. “That’s something I want do, something I’m chasing,” he admitted. “That’s being efficient, taking good shots, taking what the defense gives you, not forcing…That’s what I want to do. I just want to grow in that area.”
  • Dwight Howard will yell at you for defending poorly, even if your name is Kobe Bryant. Kevin Ding of The O.C. Register has details: “Twice in the first quarter, Howard was visibly upset after he moved over to provide help defense against Hornets point guard Greivis Vasquez, but no one — specifically Bryant — rotated over to help cover Howard’s assigned man, Hornets center Robin Lopez. The first time, Howard looked back at Bryant with an anguished look on his face and gestured at him after Lopez scored for a 12-7 New Orleans lead. Three-plus minutes later, Vasquez penetrated past Chris Duhon again, Howard shifted over to help again, and Lopez was left all alone again with Bryant toward the corner near Roger Mason instead of in the paint. Lopez scored for an 18-14 Hornets lead, and although Earl Clark was the Laker in best position to help Howard, he yelled at Bryant about it — prompting Bryant to yell back at Howard and gesture back.” “I don’t have a problem with saying anything to anybody, and it should be that way,” Howard said after the Lakers’ victory over New Orleans. “We have to be able to talk to each other. We’re a team. We’re a family. And the more chemistry we develop that way, the better we’ll be as a team.”

  • Brandon Jennings says the Bucks don’t trust each other, from Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld: ““If we don’t make the playoffs this year, it’s going to get ugly,” Jennings told HOOPSWORLD. “I’ve been saying it since day one, every year; we either miss it by one game or two games, so that’s very frustrating.” The Bucks got out to an amazing start, but have tapered off as of late, from Jennings’ view a lot of the struggles lately have to do with trust. “I think trust is probably the number one thing right now. I don’t think we are trusting each other as a team on both ends of the floor, and we have to get that trust back,”’ said Jennings. “I think that’s going to happen over time. We just can’t say ‘Against San Antonio, we’re all going to trust each other.’ It’s going to take team effort, and everybody just to know what got us to be 6-2 in the beginning; and it was just playing together, and trusting each other.”

  • Kobe Bryant doesn’t think he could handle being an owner, but will stay close to the game. Ben Golliver of SI has the details: “I don’t know if ownership is really the right thing for me,” Bryant told Bloomberg News in a video interview. “I’d go crazy. If a player misses a game because he has a broken fingernail, I’d lose my mind. I wouldn’t be able to take it.”… “I’ll be around the game and hopefully my brand can live on past my career,” Bryant said. The “brand”” talk was a nod to the success of Nike’s Jordan Brand and pertinent to the interview because Bryant was promoting the latest iteration of his own signature sneaker.”

  • Dirk Nowitzki will probably miss all of December, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: “But he said the recovery process from his October knee surgery remains slow and he’s not close to returning. “It (the knee) is better,” Nowitzki said. “But now, obviously, not doing anything for six weeks, there’s a lot of strength that you lose. Your quad muscle gets weak. And so the last week or so we increased the work load and tried to get the quad strength back. “We said from the beginning the only way I could get back on the court was when the swelling is gone and the quad strength is back. And so we got a long way to go. “Now, it’s already December 5th. I don’t think middle of December is happening now to be honest. That was my goal a couple weeks ago. But the swelling was in there too long and it held me back too long and I couldn’t start working soon enough.”

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