OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant says workouts with LeBron James blown out of proportion

by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 6, 2012
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photo - Team USA's LeBron James, left, jokes with teammate Kevin Durant as they sit on the bench against Tunisia during a men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)  Charles Krupa
Team USA's LeBron James, left, jokes with teammate Kevin Durant as they sit on the bench against Tunisia during a men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Kevin Durant wants to clear up something about his offseason workouts with LeBron James.

“A lot of people blew (it) out of proportion,” the reigning three time scoring champion said. “It was just one day.”

Still, some had a problem with Durant recently traveling to Ohio for the second consecutive summer to train with James. Durant, though, doesn't see the big deal.

“I'm a competitive guy,” Durant said. “I'm sure you guys have seen that in me. I just wanted to work out. That's what it was all about. I'll work out with anybody. I would have worked out with Kobe Bryant. I would have worked out with Carmelo (Anthony). I just wanted to work out and get better.”

This year's visit, unlike last year's lengthier trip that was dubbed “Hell Week,” was unplanned. Durant said he took two to three weeks off following the Olympics and James reached out to him.

“He was the first guy that called me and I said ‘Hey, why not?” Durant said. “And I went out there and worked hard. So hopefully I have a good season this year.”

The pairing was so perplexing to so many because it's almost unheard of for two players who quite possibly are the best two on the planet — who just happen to play the same position — to team up and become training partners. It's more unusual for those same two players to become training partners in the same summer that saw them compete in the NBA Finals and win an Olympic gold medal together.

“I've been friends with him since I was in high school, and to play on the same team with him after we lost to them in the Finals that was the toughest thing,” Durant said. “Just seeing him every day after they beat us, that was tough. But I had to let that go and just focus on Team USA and that's what I did.”

Durant now says it's made him better.

“I think I grew a lot as far as mentally when I did that, just letting things go and just moving on,” Durant said. “It was tough. It was tough for (Russell Westbrook) and James (Harden) as well. But we moved on from that and got better as individuals throughout this summer and helped the team win gold.”

Of course that was the ultimate goal, to get better. Durant has focused on that above all else since he entered the league. The public's perception of who he should or should not train with hasn't swayed his decisions one way or the other.

“I think they help each other, and their friendship has nothing to do with how they compete against each other on the floor,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “I think that's blown out of proportion. I think it's good.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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