“No I haven't, and I'm not going to tell him that, either,” Brooks said. “I know we need his activity, his points off the bench, his playmaking, his ability to draw defenses towards him because everybody knows he's been one of the best scorers from that position for a lot of years. Even when he doesn't score, he attracts attention (from defenders).
It remains to be seen who will coach the Western Conference in the 62nd NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17 in Houston, but it won't be Brooks.
Coaches are not allowed to be the All-Star coach in consecutive seasons and Brooks coached the West to a 152-149 victory last year in Orlando.
It prevents a potential homecoming of sorts for Brooks, who played 2½ seasons with the Houston Rockets (1992-95) and won the 1994 NBA title.
“Do they still like me there?” Brooks joked. “(Coaching last year) was pretty cool, just to meet some of the players and see how they are off the court. … It was fun being around the guys. It's an honor.”
The cutoff date is Feb. 3. The coach with the best record in his conference will coach the All-Star team.
Appearing Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show, Durant sheepishly admitted he wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors fan because he liked their uniforms growing up and he was a huge Vince Carter fan.
On Friday night, Durant defended Carter and they frequently chatted during stoppages in play.
The Thunder is now 3-2 in its navy blue “alternate” uniforms, and snapped a two-game losing streak at Minnesota and at Washington ... The Thunder entered the game as the NBA's top 3-point shooting team at 39.2 percent, but converted just 6 of 20 (. 300) beyond the arc. … Thanks to Durant making 21 of 21 free throws, OKC shot 91.7 percent (33 for 36) from the line.
Durant on the difference in his game since his first All-Star appearance in 2010: “I've just gotten more comfortable and more confident in myself. I've become stronger as a player. Mainly, confidence elevates everything else.”
BY JOHN ROHDE