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Kevin Durant Voted Favorite Player Of Rookie Class For 3rd Straight Season

Aug 30, 2016 5:06 PM

Kevin Durant has been named the favorite player of the incoming rookie class for the third straight season.

Durant's popularity grew from 21.2 percent up to 29.7 percent this season as he returned from injury and signed with the Warriors.

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook tied with 9.4 percent of the vote.

John Schuhmann/NBA.com

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA

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Russell Westbrook In 'Some Run, Some Make Runways' Ad For Air Jordan

Aug 29, 2016 11:33 AM

Russell Westbrook stars in an Air Jordan commercial that could be a reference to the departure of Kevin Durant. While Westbrook signed a one-year extension with the Thunder, Durant left the team to sign with the Warriors.

Westbrook is dribbling down a blacktop basketball court and prepares to jump from the free throw line but as the camera pans up, he is actually on an airplane runway.

A gravelly voice says "Some run. Some make runways."

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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RealGM Radio: Pacific Division With Kevin Pelton, Ben Golliver

Aug 27, 2016 4:29 PM

Host Danny Leroux (@DannyLeroux), Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider (@kpelton) and Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated (@BenGolliver) break down the Pacific Division.

In the offseason review, they pick who got better and worse, discuss notable moves (17:22) and pick the rookies they are most excited to see (42:34).

In the season preview, they rank the teams 1-5 (53:44), predict how many playoff teams will come out of the Pacific (1:02:35), choose breakout players (1:16:00) and much more.

 

 

Sponsored by Blue Apron (http://blueapron.com/RealGM) and Athlete’s Collective (http://www.athletescollective.com/ with REALGM promo code)

Subscribe to RealGM Radio on iTunes or via the XML feed

 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, NBA, RealGM Radio

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Billy Donovan Appreciated How Kevin Durant Handled Free Agency During Season

Aug 26, 2016 4:22 PM

For the first time, Billy Donovan talked publicly about Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors this offseason.

Donovan coached Durant for just one season, joining the Thunder from Florida in the 2015 offseason.

"I don't know if I ever felt like he was going to necessarily come back, but I thought our meeting went very, very well," said Donovan. "I think Kevin on the front end was very, very, honest that when the season ended, he was going to go through this process and he was going to take a meeting with us, obviously, first. And then he was going to have some other teams he was going to meet with. And I think a little bit later on, after the season ended, they decided to do it out in The Hamptons.

"But I thought the meeting that we had went very well. I think we talked about basketball, we talked about our team, we talked about direction, we talked about obviously his leadership, his role, all those kind of things. I think leaving the meeting it was very, very positive. I thought it was very, very clear. I think there was direction on both sides.

"But one thing I think with Kevin was going through nine years in the organization, he was at a point of time when he was allowed obviously to be a free agent and go through this process and start to gather some information. We were the first meeting. So obviously, I think being in college for so long and you go through recruiting, you know that during that process, things can change through some of these different meetings. And obviously after meeting with Golden State, things probably in his mind changed in terms of what he was evaluating."

Donovan was asked if getting over Durant's departure was different for him since he had only been there with him for one season.

"One of the things I did when I first came in that I thought was really important; there was so much of a story surrounding the fact that Kevin last year was hurt and he had missed 50-something games. Now he was getting himself back healthy. We had a chance to spend a lot of time last summer together because he was in OKC rehabbing his foot getting himself ready to play. And I talked to him a lot about the fact that I wanted to help him and our team get better and be the best version of ourselves and how could I bring value and help.

"But I didn't want to get involved in the free agency talk at all because, one, it really was not my place. I didn't have a relationship with Kevin at all. I obviously knew him as a player from afar but I didn't have a relationship to inject myself. So I really tried to do every single day is to focus on helping him and our team get better.

"The thing I thought Kevin did a great job of this year was the fact that everywhere we went to a lot of different marketplaces, there was always the question of 'Are you going to consider this team? Are you going to consider that team? Have you given this any thought?'

"I really appreciated for our team we were able to stay focused on our team, the season, the playoffs, without having the distraction. I thought Kevin handled it really, really well and was consistent all the way through."

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Kevin Durant Describes 2016 Team USA Experience As 'Therapy'

Aug 22, 2016 11:11 AM

Kevin Durant ended an emotional summer in which he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors by winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

USA Basketball provided Durant a sanctuary, playing basketball while bonding with new and old friends.

“It was therapy for me after making a big change in my life,” Durant said. “It made my life easier … I knew [a backlash] was coming. It was definitely different for me, but to come here in an environment where people accepted me and didn’t care about anything except being my buddy, that’s what I needed.”

Durant isn't sure if he'll return for Tokyo in 2020.

“I can’t say right now,” Durant told The Vertical. “I’ll be 31, going on 32 …”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, National, National Olympics

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Kevin Durant: I'm At My Best When I Don't Care If We Win Or Lose

Aug 19, 2016 12:56 PM

Kevin Durant feels like he's at his best as a player when he is more concerned with the process rather than the outcome.

“I was telling myself before I left my room that I’m at my best when I don’t care if we win or lose,” Durant said after his best game of these Olympics with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists against Argentina. “It might be different for other players, but for me I’m more free and more aggressive in games and it’s more fun for me if I don’t care about the outcome.”

Durant typically writes, “Have Fun” and “Smile” on his sneakers but forgot to scribble that reminder before facing Argentina.

“It’s always embedded in me, always knowing that’s why I play the game. I had fun playing as a kid, so why change it?” Durant said. “I always try to tell myself, just smile out there and have fun. My smile is contagious and my energy and enthusiasm is contagious and I try to spread that to my teammates.”

Durant is pursuing his second gold medal.

“I know if I go out there and be who I am, the outcome will dictate itself,” Durant said. “Because I know I put the work in. I love the game. I study the game. So if I go out there and let that stuff take over instead of me getting in my own way mentally, good results will come out of it. I’m not saying I don’t care about winning and losing. Obviously, I prepare the right way. I work hard and I love playing the game with my teammates, but I can’t overthink the game too much.”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, United States, NBA, National Teams

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Kevin Durant, DeAndre Jordan Have Grown Closer During Team USA

Aug 16, 2016 11:36 AM

Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan have continued to forge a meaningful friendship this summer as members of Team USA.

Durant considers Jordan one of his best friends in the NBA.

“If I were to get married today, he’d be in my wedding,” Durant told The Vertical about Jordan. “That’s how it is. That’s my brother.”

When relayed Durant’s comments about being in his whenever wedding, Jordan nodded and told The Vertical, “For sure, he’s going to be in mine.”

Durant first met Jordan shortly after he committed to Texas and tried to convince Jordan, who was a year younger, to join the program. Since Durant has begun making his offseason home in Los Angeles, the two have grown closer.

Jordan tried to help convince Durant to sign with the Clippers.

“I tried every day,” Jordan told The Vertical. “We had a shot. And if you ask him, he’d say we had a shot. People can be happy for him, mad at him, but at the end of the day, he did what was best for Kevin, and he can live with that.”

After the Olympics are over, Durant and Jordan will return to being rivals.

 

“We’ve always been cool,” Jordan told The Vertical. “We compete against each other four times a year. We hang out in the summertime, go on trips together, so it’s great to be on the same team together now.”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA

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Phil Pressey Agrees To Camp Deal With Warriors

Aug 16, 2016 11:26 AM

Phil Pressey has agreed to join the Golden State Warriors for training camp.

Pressey could conceivably give the Warriors depth at point guard. 

Pressey played 23 games last season combined for the 76ers and Suns, averaging 3.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 12.3 minutes per game.

Pressey also played in 25 games in the D-League, averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists. in 35.6 minutes per game.

David Pick

Tags: Phil Pressey, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Cavs-Knicks, Warriors-Spurs Featured On 16-17 Opening Night

Aug 11, 2016 4:58 PM

The Cleveland Cavaliers will host the New York Knicks on opening night when they collect their 2016 championship rings on October 25th.

The Cavs also hosted the Knicks in LeBron James' first game back in 2014.

The Golden State Warriors will host the San Antonio Spurs in the second game of the opening night doubleheader.

Matt Moore/CBS Sports

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, NBA

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Willie Green Hired By Warriors As Assistant Coach

Aug 9, 2016 1:27 PM

The Golden State Warriors have hired Willie Green as an assistant coach/player development on Steve Kerr's staff.

Green played 12 NBA seasons and was a teammate of Andre Iguodala for six of them.

Green last played in the NBA in 14-15.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA

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Kevin Durant's First Game Back In Oklahoma City Scheduled For Feb. 11th
Kevin Durant will first play the Thunder on Nov. 3rd in Oakland.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Cavs To Host Warriors On Christmas Day
The Warriors and Cavaliers met in each of the past two Finals, as well as Christmas Day in 2015.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Kevin Durant Happy For Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
Kevin Durant hasn't had a chance to actually sit down with Russell Westbrook to discuss the situation.

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Klay Thompson Doesn't See Need To Change Game With Addition Of Durant
Klay Thompson doesn't believe the individual games of the Warriors have to change due to the addition of Kevin Durant.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Warriors Hire Willie Green As Assistant Coach
Willie Green spent 12 seasons in the NBA.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

JaVale McGee Signs Make-Good Deal With Warriors
JaVale McGee will have the chance to win a roster spot in training camp.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Kevin Durant Dismisses Speculation He Changed Course Once Free Agency Started
Kevin Durant refuted a report that was later clarified about telling Russell Westbrook or giving him the impression he planned to re-sign with the Thunder.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Clippers Were Told They Were In Top-3 On Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant was reportedly "blown away" by the presentation of the Clippers.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

ESPN Clarifies Report Of Durant Telling Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Royce Young has clarified a remark made in a podcast on Tuesday about what Kevin Durant supposedly said to Russell Westbrook during their dinner before the start of free agency.

Royce Young/ESPN

Draymond Green Didn't Recruit Kevin Durant During Playoffs
Draymond Green admitted there would have been no chance of Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors had the Thunder won the Western Conference Finals.

Erik Horne/Oklahoman

Report: Kevin Durant Told Russell Westbrook He'd Re-Sign With Thunder
Russell Westbrook reportedly feels betrayed by the departure of Kevin Durant.

Royce Young/ESPN

Durant's Agent Focused On Whether Klay Thompson Would Be Willing To Sacrifice Shots
Klay Thompson hadn't seriously considered the possibility of Kevin Durant joining the Warriors until just days before the start of free agency.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Russell Westbrook 'Angry, Hurt' By Kevin Durant's Departure
Russell Westbrook thought Kevin Durant was going to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder and found out his decision online as did everyone else.

Royce Young/ESPN

Kevin Durant Was Looking For New Home In OKC One Week Before Free Agency
Kevin Durant reportedly "assured people he was coming back."

Royce Young/ESPN

Draymond Green Agrees To Plea Deal On Assault Case
Draymond Green's plea deal reduces the charge to a civil infraction, which carries a penalty of a $500 fine and $60 in jail restitution.

Halston Herrera/WDIV

Harrison Barnes Braced For Warriors' Exit After Years Of Trade Rumors
Harrison Barnes was involved in trade rumors for Dwight Howard and Kevin Love before the Warriors pivoted to pursue Kevin Durant.

Marcus Thompson II/San Jose Mercury News

Kevin Durant Cites 'Shoe War' As Factor In Withdrawing From 2014 World Cup
Kevin Durant's decision to pull out of the 2014 FIBA World Cup following the injury to Paul George received scrutiny.

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Westbrook's Own Free Agency Wasn't Discussed During Durant Meeting
Kevin Durant insists Russell Westbrook wasn't a factor in his decision to leave the Thunder.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Kevin Durant Didn't Leave His Bed For Two Days After His Decision
Kevin Durant is currently preparing for the Olympics with his Team USA teammates.

Al Iannazzone/Newsday

Kevin Durant Believes Lakers Were 'Couple Years Away' From Where He Wanted To Be
Kevin Durant explained his decision not to meet with the Lakers in free agency.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News