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OKC Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau respect each other

After a summer workout, the Thunder star and Chicago Bulls coach talked about defense, team management and all things basketball.
by Anthony Slater Published: October 24, 2013

This past offseason, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau entered a Los Angeles gym to check out one of Derrick Rose's summer workouts.

By happenstance, in a place he didn't know would be filled with NBA players, Thibodeau arrived early enough to catch the tail end of one of Kevin Durant's grueling training sessions.

“It spoke volumes as to his commitment to team, readiness to play,” Thibodeau said. “And when you have that type of commitment, you can see why (the Thunder) is so good.”

As Durant's workout ended, the OKC star made his way over to Thibodeau, wanting to pick his brain. The two talked defense, team-management and all things basketball for the next 30 minutes.

“He's all in,” Durant said. “He's one of those guys that relates to the players, but he's a no-nonsense type of guy … I learned a lot from talking to him. He's been around the game, been around so many great minds. He's won championships with Boston, and he's had so much success with Chicago. So he's a bright, bright coach.”

The conversation left an impression on Thibodeau, too.

“I think our league is in really good shape because of guys like Kevin and Derrick Rose,” he said. “They're special.”


Maybe all Jeremy Lamb needed was a matchup against one of the league's toughest defenses on a national stage to get back into an offensive flow.

Because after struggling with his shot through six preseason games, Lamb was extremely impressive in Wednesday night's exhibition finale against the Bulls, scoring an efficient 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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