Durant's unfounded paranoia: People don't hate him and the Warriors

Durant's unfounded paranoia: People don't hate him and the Warriors

Kevin Durant was well-positioned to tell the world it doesn’t get a say on what he does with his money – either receiving it or distributing it.

The reason? It’s his, and he won’t give us his PIN numbers.

But then he derailed himself by adding this little bit of victimology.

“They only (criticized his decision to defer nearly $10 million to ease the team’s cap squeeze) it because it's the Warriors and it's me and they love to hate anything we do right now,” Durant told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “A lot of players have (taken pay cuts). It wasn't that I wanted the praise. I've learned from Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki and how it has helped them over the years, and I thought, if they did it, why can't I? Why shouldn't I sacrifice? People wanted the money to break us up, and I didn't want that to happen.”

He’s making two cases here, and one is just unfounded paranoia. People did want the money to break the Warriors up for entirely tactical reasons – that, children, is the nature of salary cap sports. If one team is too overwhelming, the only way to quickly undo them is to watch them get into luxury tax trouble.

But people don’t hate the Warriors, and while he might feel differently, people don’t hate Kevin Durant. They envy them, and him. Envy is not the same as hate. That’s why there are different words for the two concepts. Any NBA team that doesn’t envy the Warriors is a team that’s tanking.

Besides, a critic only has as much power as he or she is granted by the target. Durant did the wise and thoughtful thing, for his basketball career and his post-basketball career. Anyone who doesn’t see that is simply too stupid to care about, and athletes pride themselves on not listening to critics, don’t they?

In sum, Durant is right that other teams wish the Warriors’ dynastette will end sooner rather than later. But hate isn’t the right word. Not even close.

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell


With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

After getting a rude “Welcome to the NBA” facial from Rockets guard Eric Gordon in his debut Tuesday night, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell stands to get a more legitimate baptism Friday night in New Orleans.

That’s where Pelicans All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be waiting, eager to abuse the new guy.

With starting power forward Draymond Green listed as doubtful with a strained left knee -- MRI test results were negative -- Bell can expect significant minutes when the Warriors and Pelicans meet at Smoothie King Center.

Aware Green’s availability is in question, Bell sees what’s ahead in Davis and Cousins, as they both possess skills that rank among the top five big men.

“I’m definitely excited about that,” Bell said Wednesday. “(They are) some of the best bigs in the league, so I’m definitely excited to get tested against that.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr generally avoids tinkering with his set rotations, in which case David West and JaVale McGee would continue to come off the bench at center. Of the other “bigs” on the roster, Bell is most likely to start if Green is unable.

Bell played 12 minutes in the opener, and they were in slots that typically go to McGee, who never left the bench against Houston. Citing the matchups created by the Rockets’ smallish lineups, Kerr opted for the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Bell over the 7-foot, 270-pound McGee.

That will change Friday, regardless of Green’s status, as both Bell and McGee will be needed against Davis and Cousins, both of whom possess wing spans over 7 feet. Only Bell is suited to play power forward or center, and the staff is coaching him at both positions.

“At the 4, I have to be more of a facilitator, like (Green) is,” Bell said. “Some plays (Kerr) has me doing the same things Draymond does. Sometimes he has me bring the ball up in practice. Calling plays, putting me in positions on the elbows to make the right pass, make the right read.

“When I’m at the 5, I have to be more of an aggressor, a more physical guy on the court, focusing on rebounding and finishing around the rim.”

It’s exceedingly rare for a second-round draft pick to start a game in his first week as an NBA player. The Warriors believe Bell can handle it. So in the case of Green being held out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rookie’s name is called.


Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI


Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

The Golden State Warriors and Dubnation have been holding their breath a bit awaiting the results of Draymond Green's MRI. 

They can breathe a little better now. 

According to ESPN, the forward underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative. 

Green left Tuesday's game against the Rockets one point shy of a triple double after 28 minutes of work. 

The Warriors were left in a defensive deficit in his absence and ultimatley lost to the Rockets 122-121. 

More to come...