Mike Krzyzewski: Kevin Durant is too unselfish
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski says Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant passes up too many chances to takes shots, and some of Durant's teammates agree.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kevin Durant is too unselfish.
That's the one criticism U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski has of the Oklahoma City Thunder forward so far in the Americans' preparations for the world championships. He's watched Durant pass up too many shots.
A team's best player can't do that. Krzyzewski freely bestows that distinction on the 21-year-old Durant and is confident the other players on this young squad agree. It's hard to argue, considering Durant last season became the youngest to win the NBA scoring crown.
"They look to him all the time," Krzyzewski said after Friday's practice at the Knicks' training facility. "They're OK with Kevin shooting. If he misses, they want him to shoot again. They know. They've seen it."
He needs to keep shooting even in games like Thursday's intrasquad scrimmage at Radio City Music Hall, when Durant was 4 of 12 and missed all five 3-point attempts.
"He's our guy," elder statesman Chauncey Billups said. "He's the go-to guy. He's the guy who for us is going to be the scorer and do all the things that Kobe, LeBron did on the Olympic team."
Durant sounded a bit conflicted upon being told his coach wanted him to be less unselfish.
"I thought I was doing a better job of finding the open man, but I guess he wants me to be more aggressive," he said.
"I don't want to be a guy that comes out here and tries to take all the shots," Durant added. "We have a lot of scorers here, so I just want to be a complement on the floor."
But he's noticed his point guards, Billups and Rajon Rondo, reminding him when he's not assertive enough.
"Certain situations during the game, I'm just letting him know we have to go through him down the stretch," Rondo said. "There's going to be some games where he has to take us home and not be so passive and be aggressive. The coaches obviously are drawing up plays to put him in situations to score the ball."