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Kevin Durant appreciates Dwight Howard's kind words, says he's not on LeBron James' level yet

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, Modified: October 8, 2010 at 7:49 am •  Published: October 7, 2010

Durant said he doesn't understand all the hatred toward James, nor why people made such a big deal out of Durant tweeting confirmation of his contract extension.

Keep in mind, there is a world of difference between being an unrestricted free agent (James) and agreeing to a contract extension one year before your current deal expires (Durant).

"I'm not sure I wouldn't have gone about it the same way LeBron went about it," Durant said. "He was a free agent. He could pick whatever team in the league he wanted to pick. I wasn't a free agent. I wasn't a restricted free agent. I was just trying to extend my contract. I couldn't talk to other teams or negotiate my contract with other teams. I was just extending my contract, so my situation was a lot different.

"I've never (understood) why people made a big deal about it. He (James) did it the same way when he signed his contract extension. Dwyane Wade did it the same way. Chris Bosh did it the same way. I'm sure whenever I become a free agent, you know, I'll probably do it the same way they did it."

Fresh off becoming the youngest scoring champ in league history at the age of 21 last season, Durant easily outdistanced James in the league's annual preseason poll of NBA general managers, in which 66.7 percent picked Durant to win this year's MVP and 55.6 percent chose him as the player they would sign first if they were starting a franchise.

Thunder at Heat

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.)

Television: FOX Sports Oklahoma Cox Ch. 37. HD 722. NBA TV Ch. 726

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM.


* Miami guard Dwyane Wade will not play tonight because of a hamstring injury.

* Tonight's game sold out within 48 hours of LeBron James announcing his plans to sign with Miami.

* The game is technically a home game for Miami.

Probable starters

Thunder (1-0)


G;Russell Westbrook;6-3;9.0;3.0;4.0

G;James Harden;6-5;;4.0

F;Kevin Durant;6-9;12.0;1.0;2.0

F;Jeff Green;6-9;25.0;4.0;1.0

C;Serge Ibaka;6-10;12.0;11.0;1.0

Heat (1-0)


G;Carlos Arroyo;6-2;10.0;2.0;1.0

G;Mike Miller;6-8;6.0;1.0;4.0

F;LeBron James;6-8;18.0;3.0;4.0

F;Chris Bosh;6-10;20.0;6.0;1.0

C;Joel Anthony;6-9;0.0;1.0;2.0


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