There's a growing trend throughout the NBA.
Players wearing Kevin Durant's signature shoes.
Not Thunder players. Opposing players.
Denver has at least two players who routinely wear Durant's line of “KDs,” forward Wilson Chandler and center Timofey Mozgov.
But should players wear them against Durant?
“We were actually having a conversation about that with the players,” said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. “When I came (into the NBA) in 1988, shortly after that, (Michael) Jordan started with his Jordan One. They only made them in red, white and black, Bulls colors. I remember Nike wouldn't let you wear his shoes. They only let him wear it. You could order them through your account, but you couldn't wear them in games.
“And then, when they started making different colors, they started allowing guys to wear them in games. Obviously, the most important thing is that it's a shoe that fits your foot and (if) you're comfortable in it then you'll want to wear it. But I always thought that that gave; like being on the Lakers, when guys would wear Kobe (Bryant's) shoes when we were playing against them, he always would, in his mind, feel ‘I got him because he's wearing my shoes.' So the guys who do wear KD's, we were talking yesterday, ‘Are you really going to wear those tomorrow when we play him?' So it was a debate back and forth about the comfort of the shoe as opposed to what message it sends when you're wearing a guy's shoes.”
Durant downplayed the potential psychological advantage angle.
“I've seen a few guys wear my shots,” he said. “It's flattering to me. I don't really look at it as an advantage at all. More so, it's just cool seeing “KD” on other guys' shoes, because I've grown up watching people wear Jordans and play in Jordans. And now, to have my own signature shoe and have my peers wearing it, it's pretty fun to see.”
IBAKA IS BACK AND FEELING BETTER
Serge Ibaka rejoined the Thunder lineup Thursday at Denver following a one-game absence Tuesday at Utah due to flu-like symptoms.
Ibaka blamed his illness on the country's unrelenting cold climate.
“The last couple of days, as cold as it was in Minnesota and Oklahoma, this is the coldest I've been in all my life, man,” Ibaka said. “It was very hard for me.”
Ibaka said before Thursday's game that he was feeling a little better.
“My focus is to just try to help my team,” he said. “After the last game in Utah, it's important for us to bounce back and play well.”
SEFOLOSHA GIVES BACK
Thabo Sefolosha is giving back.
The Thunder's shooting guard will donate $50 for every 3-point shot he makes in January home games, as well as $50 for every steal, $50 for every assist and $10 for each rebound.
Proceeds will benefit the Children's Hospital Foundation.
Sefolosha is also asking fans to support Children's Hospital Foundation by raising awareness about the organization.
Children's Hospital Foundation is the only nonprofit organization in Oklahoma whose sole focus is the advancement of pediatric research and education while supporting specialized clinical care for Oklahoma's children.
Durant continues to lead all Western Conference plays after the third returns of NBA All-Star balloting. He has garnered 1,054,209 votes, ranking second to only Miami forward LeBron James (1,076,063). Russell Westbrook is sixth in voting among Western Conference backcourt players at 260,499, meaning he likely will have to be selected by the conferences coaches in order to make his fourth straight All-Star appearance. … Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson had registered four consecutive double-doubles entering Thursday's game. … Wilson did not play Thursday because of a groin injury he sustained Tuesday against Boston. Denver started second-year forward Quincy Miller in his place.