Blog Entry

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:35 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 5:07 am
Dirk Nowitzki is getting a second chance at the NBA Finals, but Kevin Durant isn't happy about that. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The Western Conference finals was set up as a battle between two of the league's most unguardable forwards: Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Long, coordinated, multi-talented and efficient, both players present nightmare matchups every time they step on the court. Nowitzki, 32, may very well be getting his last crack at an NBA title. Durant, 22, was taking his first real swing at a deep playoff run.

After just five games, the old head overcame the young gun.

Following Thursday's 100-96 Dallas win, Durant was asked what his feelings were about Nowitzki getting a second chance at the NBA Finals. Nowitzki's Mavericks lost a controversial 2006 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat and that was the only time in Nowitzki's 13-year career, prior to this year, that he had made the Finals. The Mavericks had been bounced in the first round in three of the last four seasons.

When faced with that question, most players would mumble some generic show of support for their competitor. Durant is not most players.

"I'm not happy at all," Durant said, shrugging and smiling. "I'm a competitor, man, I really didn't care about what he went through the last three or four years. I know that's been tough for him, you know. He lost three of the last four years in the first round. I'm sure he's happy now that he's going back to the Finals but I'm not happy for him at all because I wanted to be there. But it happens like that."

Here's video of Durant's answer to the question. 

In this Western Conference finals, the battle of the superstars was a clear win for Nowitzki. He averaged 33.8 points and 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists to Durant's 27.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. More importantly, though, Nowitzki shot 56.2% from the field while Durant shot just 43.4% and a measly 23.3% from deep. Nowitzki also got to the free throw line more and was huge late in Dallas' wins, particularly in the remarkable Game 4 comeback.

Nowitzki was the better of the superstars, but he also had the better, more tested team. Durant seems to understand that fact intimately. Will some people misinterpret his comments about Nowitzki as a sign of disrespect? It's possible. But they shouldn't. True competitors respect each other by respecting the game first, and that means focusing on the ultimate prize at all times, even in the midst of a disappointing defeat. 

After all these years -- more than a decade -- of heartbreak and frustration, Nowitzki surely knows where Durant is coming from.


Since: May 19, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 8:45 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

Nothing wrong with Kevin Durant making this comment, I would expect nothing less from a focused competitor.  I think the gesture that speaks volumes about the character of these young Thunder players is how they acted immediately after the game.  As bedlam is breaking out all over the American Airlines Center, Mark Cuban is all over the floor, and the Mavericks players are starting their celebration it would have been very easy to sulk and sneak off the floor.  Most of the Thunder players, most notably Kevin Durant and James Harden, remained on the floor to offer their congratulations to their opponents.  It was quite a moment watching Dirk Nowitzki hug and talk to Durant, and then as Jason Kidd spoke for a couple of minutes to him.  You know it was a measure of respect for the young man and I'm sure Kidd offered some encouragement that Durant isn't likely to forget.

On the flip side, the cameras caught Russell Westbrook leaving the floor immediately after the end of the game and storming through the tunnel, alone.  He had a surly scowl upon his face and was shooting daggers with his eyes at the camera crews.  THAT action tells me that Westbrook may be a fierce competitior, but is definitely more about himself than he is about learning and being part of his team.  Sure it is a painful moment to have your season end late in the playoffs.  But the lingering lesson would have been to stay out, with your team, watch the Mavericks enjoy their moment and have those images sink in.  You will then work harder to make sure you are part of a moment like that in the future.

This Thunder team will be there, they will have another shot and probably several as long as they don't implode.  But I question if Russell Westbrook will be a part of their future, or if he will be the albatross that keeps them from reaching their ultimate goal.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:50 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

wow Kevin  many things about you I like but that is a douche statement to make. Get over it , you lost, so you can  not be happy for someone else's success?  I thought you had values , a very non Christian statement to make, though he was being honest.

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:19 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

Okay, Durant.  I'm sure you'll get your opportunity in appearing (and probably winning) in an NBA Finals.  Show some luv, KD.

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:17 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

You got to respect that answer. No a$$ kissing there. Fair enough.

If it was Lebron on the other hand ... dear lord...

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 6:43 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

Boss Hawg the front runner calling someone a sore loser. I guess it is easy to not be a sore loser when you just jump on the winning teams bandwagon.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: May 26, 2011 5:30 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

These guys are still very young. Although they are good basketball players, they showcase their youth with their words & actions after losing.

As for Durant; of course you're a competitor... but if you wanted to get to the next round you should have played better defense against the Mavs. Basketball is so much more than scoring 30 a night!!!!

Westbrook; smh!!! This guy is talented but he will never reach his full potential until he fixes his POOR attitude. Also, OKC might want to consider moving Russell to the 2 guard role because he is a true ball hog! I undertand that the best mold for a point guard is a pass first mentality but this guy rarely thinks about passing.

Now go home & watch the finals on your big screen TV's...... sore losers!!!!!

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:41 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

You have to love that he gives in an honest answer without being rude about it. Bravo Durant, bravo.

Since: May 24, 2010
Posted on: May 26, 2011 4:21 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

White Trash, credit is given where due but don't act like Dallas is in anyway frugal here, they have the highest team salary by far of any of the 4 teams that were left in the playoffs before OKC went out tonight.  Their team salary number is at $88 million, Miami is around $68, OKC is $57 and Chicago around $55 so based on that alone Dallas should have won and should win in the finals.  In fact Dallas already has $60 million committed next year and that is will Barea, Butler and Tyson Chandler being free agents after this season so again, they won, good for them but like in Baseball, NY, Boston, Philly and other like them should win and its no surprise that the Lakers have had a good run since they have managed to have $90 million in payroll for some time and for the next 2 years as well.  From your perspective what that extra $20 millionDallashas spent on salaries to buy their championship, well, it surely would buy about 1,500 double-wides for those who really are white trash.  The finals should be good though, looks like the team that outspent everyone but the Lakers vs. the team everyone loves to hate!

OKC has a nice run this year but as I said after Game 4 they are and shall  be known as Choke-lahoma City until they prove otherwise and they did it again tonight.  However, if they can keep their core together this team will be in the finals in the next couple years if not next, they and Memphis really took huge steps forward in these playoffs.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: May 26, 2011 3:44 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

Good, honest answer.  No malice shown -- competitive without being classless.  No issue here.  Durrant is too candid to play the sportcasters' "find an angle" games.  I like his attitude; I love his game and I appreciate what he's done this season and last off-season for Team USA.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2011 3:28 am

Durant 'not happy at all' that Dirk advances

The only thing i have a problem with is with Westbrook not shaking hands or saying good luck, not that he has to be he showed all series that is immature and trys to be a hard ass, with pushing  Terry after the timeout, he needs to grow up this is playoff bball, and u dont stop until the whistle blows, maybe this summer hell grow up alittle and take a beating like a man and show respect where respect is due, the mavs earned this without spending millions on the FA market, and the only trade i think they made was for Pedja or whatever his name is, but hes be a joke since he left Sac-town. A steal now but when deal was made no one gave a rats ass..Sadly Heat will prob sweep, then trade Bosh for a PG in the offseason...

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