Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Denver guard Andre Iguodala won gold medals together on Team USA at the 2010 World University Games and at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Iguodala made note of how Durant constantly is improving his overall game and lightheartedly shared one potential explanation why.
“It's really good that he's still young and doesn't have a girlfriend yet and is focusing on basketball,” Iguodala said Friday, drawing laughter from reporters.
Iguodala's comment was relayed to Durant during his late morning interview session with roughly 15 newspaper and television reporters.
“He said that?” Durant asked with a smile. “Oh, man. I don't want to make anybody upset if they're watching this (on video). … Um, I guess so. I guess all my focus is on basketball.”
Denver point guard Ty Lawson, Durant's longtime friend and former teammate in AAU ball and at Oak Hill Academy, was asked for his thoughts on Iguodala's theory.
“Even if he did have a girlfriend,” Lawson began, “… um, I don't know. I don't know where he (Iguodala) is coming from with that. I'll leave that one alone.”
KD IS NOT NICE
Iguodala also had fun with Nike's new ad “KD IS NOT NICE.”
“KD is not nice,” Iguodala said. “He's not, really. He's kind of cocky and he's a killer. He's not quiet and he's not just a friendly guy. When he gets on the court, he's all about business and it's fun matching up against him. He doesn't talk trash at all. He talks to himself and he's always in attack mode. He just enjoys playing the game.”
Durant on Iguodala: “Andre's my guy, one of the guys I really look up to. Of course he's a great basketball player, but the way he carries himself, how hard he works and how selfless he is. He could easily be a 19 (points), eight rebounds, seven assists guy, but he's one of those guys who plays within the team's concepts, getting everybody involved, rebounding when he needs to, defending. He's doing it all for them and I really admire him for that.”
The Thunder wore its navy blue alternate uniform Friday night. OKC entered the game 4-4 wearing the uniform and will wear all-blue three more times this season — at San Antonio (March 11), at Indiana (April 5) and at Golden State (April 11).
The Thunder wore all-blue at home twice, beating Detroit (Nov. 12) and Phoenix (Dec. 31). OKC two road victories wearing the alternates came against Brooklyn (Dec. 4) and Dallas (Jan. 18), when Durant scored a career-high 52 points. Road losses in all-blue came at Minnesota (Dec. 20), Washington (Jan. 7), Los Angeles Lakers (Jan. 27) and Utah (Feb. 12).
Nuggets coach George Karl said he walked by Durant after Friday morning's shoot-around and told him: “You are doing a hell of a job. You are getting better every month.”
“It's not every year; he gets better every month,” Karl added. “The games I've watched, he has looked like Magic Johnson out there. He is making passes I've never seen before, and if he puts that in his game, it just makes his touches harder to cover. … He and LeBron (James) are great examples of being efficient players, not only high scorers, but efficient touches.”
With 4:30 left in the second quarter, Durant picked up his 12th technical foul of the season. One-game suspensions commence on the 16th technical. … After converting 130 of 138 (. 942) free throws in the previous five games, the Thunder missed six of its first 17 (. 647) attempts against Denver. … OKC will not practice Saturday in preparation for Sunday's 2:30 p.m. contest against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center to be televised on ABC.
Karl on the key to teaching consistency to young players: “It's a combination of a pat on the back and a kick in the butt. It's six inches of difference. … The base of success is fundamental, solid and simple.”