Kevin Durant on Tuesday acknowledged that he has in fact signed with agent Rob Pelinka, who runs Los Angeles-based Landmark Sports Agency.
Last month, Durant parted ways with Aaron Goodwin but said he is happy to have landed with Pelinka.
“Just his track record and the type of guy he is,” Durant said. “He's somebody I can really relate to that played the game of basketball at a high level. He knows what it takes to be a player in this game and he works hard. That's the type of people I like to be around.”
Pelinka was a member of the University of Michigan men's basketball team in the late 1980s and early '90s and was a teammate of the Wolverines' famed “Fab Five.” Pelinka is best known for representing Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. He also represents Thunder guard James Harden among others, but Durant said Pelinka's ties to Harden didn't weigh into his decision.
“Me and James are really, really good friends so of course people will think that,” Durant said. “Rob is just a great worker. I'm happy to have him on my team.”
Durant said he's glad to have a new agency and have the process behind him.
“It was a crazy month for me,” Durant said. “But one thing I tried to do was just come in and work every day and not let it affect me on the court. I'm glad I got it over with.”COOK SUFFERS KNEE SPRAIN Guard Daequan Cook had to be helped to the locker with 10:15 left to play Tuesday night and did not return. According to the team, Cook sprained his right knee and will be re-evaluated Wednesday in Oklahoma City. The injury occurred with 11 1/2 minutes remaining as Cook chased a loose ball in front of the Thunder’s bench and had Utah forward Derrick Favors crash into his leg while diving on the floor alongside Nick Collison. Cook immediately began grimacing and clutching his knee but remained in the game. It wasn’t until Cook grabbed a rebound and was all alone under his own basket when he looked to the bench and was forced to signal for a timeout to exit the game. Cook was seen on crutches after the game, and it appears unlikely he will play Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
THUNDER DOMINATING THE DIVISION
Entering Tuesday's game at Utah, the Thunder was 7-1 against Northwest Division opponents. Oklahoma City had beaten every team in its division, Portland, Denver, Utah and Minnesota, at least once.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks, however, didn't have an answer for his team's success against the division.
“We don't look at it that way,” Brooks said. “We just play every game and treat it like the most important game on the schedule. That's always been our case, whether we're playing Eastern or Western Conference teams or division teams or non-division teams.
Going into Tuesday's game, the Thunder's lone loss to a divisional opponent came on Jan. 3 against the Blazers. It was the seventh game of the season.
But you'd have to forgive Brooks for not keeping track.
“I didn't even know our record was 7-1 against division opponents,” he said. “I think if you ask any of our guys they would tell you the same thing. They have no clue what our record is against division opponents. We just go out and play and focus on that game no matter who it is.”
Guard Daequan Cook had to be helped to the locker room with 10:15 left to play after what appeared to be a right leg injury. Cook grabbed a rebound and was all alone under his own basket when he looked to the bench and was forced to signal for a timeout to exit the game. … After jamming his left index finger Sunday against Portland, Harden played Tuesday's game with his finger heavily wrapped in tape. But Harden's finger is said to be OK. … The Jazz on Tuesday announced that starting small forward Josh Howard will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury that will require surgery. … Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 23 of the Thunder's 25 first-quarter points on 8-for-13 shooting. The All-Star duo then went 0-for-6 in the second quarter.
The Thunder will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night to face the Los Angeles Clippers. It will be the second of four meetings between the two teams this season. L.A. won the first meeting, 112-100, on Jan. 30 inside Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.