Durant: 'Who cares who's better between Westbrook, me?'

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Durant: 'Who cares who's better between Westbrook, me?'

Usually, Im the one asking the questions of NBA players butnot so on Friday night before the Thunder-Warriors game.Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant had a few questions forme.I had just finished doing a television segment from thefloor of Oracle Arena a little after 5 p.m., while some Thunder players shot inthe background. I was a guest on Chronicle Live, and was talking about Durant,Russell Westbrook and the game itself.After I was done with the hit, I felt a hand on my shoulder.It was Durant, whom Id never met.
Hey my man, Ive got a question for you, Durant said. Whydoes everyone want to talk about who the best player is on our team, whether itsme or Russell? Why does everyone worry about that?Naturally, I was defensive and told Durant thats not what Iwas talking about on television.I know, he said. But youre in the media so maybe youknow why some writers and guys like that do it. I just dont get it.Im not sure, I answered.I mean, were on the same team, Russell and me, so whatdoes it matter? Durant said. Who cares whether hes better than me or Imbetter than him?Well, you know, the media does that kind of stuff everyonce in a while, I said, unabashedly throwing my media brethren under the bus.You know, it happens here some with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry.Durant nodded.Thanks, Durant said. Its just that were on the sameteam, you now? So it doesnt matter. Who cares?Youre probably right, I said. I guess it doesnt reallymatter.With that, Durant thanked me one more time and while walkingaway said ... I just have a lot of questions, thats all.And after Durant walked away, a question crossed my mind: Isthere a better guy out there in the NBA than Kevin Durant?

Entering the NBA Finals 12-0 'would be irrelevant' to the Warriors

Entering the NBA Finals 12-0 'would be irrelevant' to the Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- The Specter of 73 haunts the Warrior still and you can feel it in their dismissive, yes-but responses to being on the brink of yet another entry into the NBA record book.

Though they do not believe their pursuit and achievement last season of an NBA-record 73 wins sabotaged their chances for a championship, it is evident the Warriors came away with diminished appreciation of gaudy numbers.

They can add to their list of shiny accomplishments Monday night. A victory over the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals would make the Warriors the first team ever to open the playoffs with three four-game sweeps and a 12-0 record.

“My wife asked me this morning: What if you guys win and you’re 12-0?” general manager Bob Myers told NBCBayAreaSports.com Monday afternoon. “Well, for me, the record thing kind of got screwed up last year.”

Yes, the record thing. The Warriors chased 73 and got 73 and yet they’ll be known just as much, if not more, as the first team to blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

“It’s all about 16,” Stephen Curry told NBCSportsBayArea.com.

Getting to 16 wins in the postseason means getting to the top. Winning it all. The very thing the Warriors did not accomplish a year ago.

They are one win away from being three-quarters of the way there.

“Going 12-0 sounds great,” Curry said. “But it probably would have happened if the Lakers would have played a seven-game series to start the run through the playoffs.”

The Lakers twice swept their first three postseason series -- in 1989 and 2001 -- but in both instances the first round was best-of-five. Both streaks ended at 11 in a row.

The Warriors seem to view numbers as decoration, ancillary components to the primary. They may have felt that way all along, but going through what they did last season, losing The Finals to the Cavaliers, provided an acute sense of context.

“It’s unfortunate that we put so much into the last game of the season, or winning the whole thing because there are a lot of things that we, as an organization, should be proud of no matter what happens,” Myers said. “But it’s hard, knowing where were last year, to see that regular-season record and then not win the championship. It’s a mixed feeling.

“So when you talk about records and numbers and things like that, and you know what it’s like to win a championship and you know what it’s like to lose, it’s hard to put them in proper perspective.”

The Warriors have made it clear they are less than impressed with their average victory margin of 16.5 points through the first 11 games in these playoffs. The record is 14.5, set by the Bucks in 1971.

They’re not buying into the hype generated by leading all playoff teams in points per game (117.4) and field-goal percentage (49.7) and field-goal percentage defense (41.6).

Numbers. Just numbers. Like, for example, 73.

“To know that we have a great regular-season record and a tiny little banner in our practice facility, “ Myers said, “it doesn’t feel like it should.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say it doesn’t mean anything. But it’s hard to really understand what it means right now. And knowing that we’ve been in the midst of all these numbers and records and road-win records and things like that, you get lost in it in good and bad ways. It’s fantastic, but also what does it mean? Because what we’re really trying to do is win a championship.”

Which, of course, comes back to numbers.

“You can learn lessons in winning and you can learn lessons in losing,” Curry said. “It’s just a matter of how you respond from game to game. But 12-0 would be irrelevant come next series.”

Steph Curry still sore after 'dirty play' by Spurs big man Dedmon

Steph Curry still sore after 'dirty play' by Spurs big man Dedmon

SAN ANTONIO -- With a bag of ice strapped to his left knee, Stephen Curry limped out of AT&T Center after Warriors shootaround Monday showing the effects of a play he considered dirty.

With less than four minutes remaining in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday, Spurs backup center Dewayne Dedmon set a screen on Curry in hopes of creating space for guard Dejounte Murray.

What Curry took issue with was not the screen itself but Dedmon’s movement. He deliberately turned his left knee and banged it into the side of Curry’s knee, which buckled and sent the Warriors star sprawling to the floor.

“I saw the replay,” Curry said after shootaround, clearly displeased.

That the Warriors did not list Curry on their morning injury report for Game 4 Monday night does not make the pronounced limp any less real, and he conceded his gait is affected by that play.

“I know (Dedmon is) not a dirty player,” Curry told ESPN on Sunday. “I'm not going to try to mess up his reputation, but I feel like that was a dirty play."

Asked Monday about those comments, Curry expressed no regret.

“Yeah, that’s what I said,” he said.

Dedmon and Curry are former Warriors teammates. Dedmon spent part of the 2013-14 season between the Golden State Warriors and the Development League Santa Cruz Warriors.