Kevin Durant on NBA Lockout Negotiations: “We’re not trying to get more money.”

October 18, 2011 – 10:00 am by Michael Bean

It’s too bad we don’t hear more from Kevin Durant, the star of the Oklahoma City Thunder that’s won the previous two NBA scoring titles. Still just 23 years of age, Durant has plenty of time to find himself squarely in the spotlight, but as of now, not nearly enough casual fans know about just what kind of special young player and person Durant is. For anybody who thinks the NBA is just a league of egomaniac stars, you’re not paying attention to the new crop of stars in the league that are as good a role models as you could ever hope to have in professional sports. Durant’s at the forefront of that movement. That’s why it’s so unfortunate that the ongoing NBA Lockout threatens to derail any and all momentum that the league has slowly but surely accumulated this past several years. We’ll see if any progress is made on Tuesday when players and owners next meet to try to get closer on working out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Durant joined The Sports Animal in Oklahoma City to talk about how the exhibition games organized by players came about earlier during the lockout, the upcoming run in Oklahoma City, the players stance during the ongoing lockout negotiations, what his message to fans would be who think that the players are being greedy, what parts of his game he’s been working on during the offseason, what he’s specifically doing to try to improve his post game, and his reaction to his Texas Longhorns losing in consecutive weeks to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

On how the tour of exhibition games organized by players came about earlier during the lockout:

“I think it just starts its own self. When guys play in summer leagues throughout the summer, with us having this extended offseason, it was just so much fun you just had to keep it going. And guys like to play under the whistle. We started off with one in Baltimore where all the guys — LeBron, Carmelo, CP, myself — we all played in that one and since then guys just started to schedule them and they just got better and better. So I wanted to do one in OKC for awhile now, and it’s started to come together now and I can’t wait.”

On the players fighting not only for the present but also the future:

“Yeah man, I think we’re trying to get a deal done that’s going to really help what we’ve got going on now, but like you said, the players that will be coming after us too. We’re sacrificing a little bit of time for betterment of both. But hopefully we get something done because  I know the fans are getting anxious or a little upset, but I think we’re doing what we need to make sure the players have a fair deal.”

On what his message is to fans that think the negotiations are still ongoing because of players being greedy:

“Well first of all, we’re not trying to get more money. We already gave up money, we sacrificed money in our negotiating to try to make a deal. But the owners won’t budge.”

On what specifically he’s working on with his game during the extended offseason:

“Oh, everything — posting up, more play-making skills, shooting off the dribble, everything. I’ve just been trying to watch different guys around the league, try to look at some of their tendencies and try to put that in my game as well. So I’ve been learning a lot, watching a lot of film and trying to grow.”

On what specifically he’s trying to do to improve his post game:

“I’ve always wanted to say this but I have a post up game, it’s just a matter of me…I get double-teamed a lot, no team in the NBA is going to allow me to post up and have three or five seconds to do what I do before sending a double-team. So for me, why would I always post up when I know I’m going to get double-teamed and put myself in a bad position and get turnovers. So I try to get in there and score quick and get some post moves in, but why would I always go down there when I know a double-team is going to come where I get most of my turnovers? A lot of people get that kind of confused in thinking I don’t have a post game when I know I have a good post game. It can get better, of course, but I do have one. And every time I go down there, there’s two or three people down there and I can’t make a post move.”

On his Texas Longhorns losing consecutive games to OU and OSU:

“I still hate Oklahoma, but OSU is alright in my mind.”

Listen here to Durant with Jim Traber on the Sports Animal in Oklahoma City

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  1. 6 Responses to “Kevin Durant on NBA Lockout Negotiations: “We’re not trying to get more money.””

  2. What is all the talk about the NBA losing momentum? The what they lose here in the US they are gaining 100 fold overseas! Plus the licensing money they make there they do not have to share with the players or the owners!

    By Sean on Oct 18, 2011

  3. How will some of the N B A players spend their time now that there is a lockout !! Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Eleven years ago, as a compulsive-gamblers counselor, I was asked to fly to New York to the National Basketball Association office in Manhattan and met with league officials, players and union officials, concerned about players’ gambling. I was told, “We have a problem, and we’re trying to find out how bad the problem is” Officials asked me to keep my calendar open for the spring of the following year and said to me that they wanted me to address every team and player in the league. They then flew my wife in, and we had a second meeting they asked us develop questions that were going to be given to the players to answer. “We need to know how big the gambling problem is in the N.B.A,”

    When I hadn’t heard from the N.B.A, I called and asked, “When do we start?” The talked were cancelled, and the response I got was this: “They said that the higher-ups didn’t want the media to find out”

    Over the years we have had players call us for help with a gambling addiction

    and in the end the agent sais they should not go for help as someone might find out.

    In May 1996, Horace Balmer, the NBA’s vice president for security, had two speakers flown to Norfolk, Va., whose messages were even very disturbing. Michael Franzese, a former mob boss who fixed professional and college games for organized crime, and Arnie Wexler, who for 23 years was a compulsive gambler. Franzere said, “I talked to the NBA rookies earlier this season . . . and it’s amazing how many confided to me that they have gambling habits. I’m not going to mention their names, but if I did, you would know them” “I personally got involved in compromising games with players, and it all came through their gambling habits.’ ( THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT -May 11, 1996 )

    Athletes may be more vulnerable than the general population when you look at the soft signs of compulsive gambling: high levels of energy; unreasonable expectations of winning; very competitive personalities; distorted optimism; and bright with high IQs.

    Some years ago, I was on a TV show with Howard Cossell (ABC Sports Beat). The topic was: Does the media encourage the public to gamble? David Stern, NBA commissioner said: “We don’t want the week’s grocery money to be bet on the outcome of a particular sporting event”

    Yet on Dec. 11, 2009, commissioner David Stern told SI.com (the website for Sports Illustrated) that legalized gambling on the NBA “May be a huge opportunity”

    I wonder how many addicted gamblers placed the first bet they ever made on an NBA game.

    The National Gambling Study Commission said that there are “5 million compulsive gamblers and 15 million at risk in the U.S” Forty-eight percent of the people who gamble bet on sports.

    Get the real scoop: Talk to me, Arnie Wexler, one of the nation’s leading experts on the subject of compulsive gambling and a recovering compulsive gambler. I placed my last bet on April 10, 1968, and has been involved in helping compulsive gamblers for the last 40 years. Through the years, I have spoken to more compulsive gamblers than anyone else in America and has been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers.

    It is time for college and professional sports to outline and execute a real program to help players who might have a gambling problem or gambling addiction problem. Yet college and professional sports still do not want to deal with this. They do not want the media and public to think there is a problem.

    And over the years, I have spoken to many college and professional athletes who had a gambling problem. One NCAA study a few years ago reported: “There is a disturbing trend of gambling among athletes in college” You can’t think that these people will get into the pros and then just stop gambling.

    Compulsive gambling is an addiction just like alcoholism and chemical dependency, and all three diseases are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic and statistical manual. Nevertheless, we treat compulsive gambling differently than the other addictions. Society and professional sports treat people with chemical dependency and alcoholism as sick persons, send them to treatment and get them back to work. Sports looks at compulsive gamblers as bad people and gets barred them from playing in professional sports.

    There are people in various sport’s halls of fame who are convicted drug addicts and alcoholics, yet compulsive gamblers are unable to get into these halls of fame. In fact, as far as professional sports goes, an alcoholic and chemical dependent person can get multiple chances, whereas a gambler cannot. I have been fighting the injustice of how sports, society and the judicial system deal with compulsive gamblers for many years.

    If colleges and professional leagues wanted to help the players, they would run real programs that seriously address the issue of gambling and compulsive gambling. Education and early detection can make a difference between life and death for some people who have or will end up with a gambling addiction.

    One sports insider said to me: “Teams need to have a real program for players, coaches and referees, and they need to let somebody else run it. When you do it in-house, it’s like the fox running the chicken coop. You must be kidding yourself if you think any player, coach or referee is going to call the league and say, ‘I’ve got a gambling problem, and I need help.’ ”

    The Wexlers run a national help line for gamblers who want help

    888 LAST BET

    ARNIE WEXLER

    561 2490922 CELL 954 5015270

    Arnie Wexler
    Arnie & Sheila Wexler Associates
    Lake Worth, FL
    561-249-0922 CELL 954 501527

    By ARNIE WEXLER on Oct 18, 2011

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