NBA owners and players have been meeting for more than 10hours today in a New York City hotel hoping to end a lockout that began on July1.Commissoner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver,union executive director Billy Hunter, union president Derek Fisher and otherswere joined by federal mediator George Cohen on Monday.The lingering lockout has caused Stern to cancel the firsttwo weeks of the regular season. Training camps, which were to start on Oct. 1,and the exhibition season already have been canceled.Stern indicated last week that if an agreement wasntreached by the end of today, the prospect of canceling games through Christmaswas a possibility.While 10-plus hour of negotiations would seem to be a goodsign on the surface, consider that last week the sides met for a 13-hour periodover two days and it yielded no progress.
As you might expect when Kevin Durant returns to Oklahoma City, things got chippy at several moments Wednesday.
Once during the second quarter and again in the third quarter, Durant and former running mate Russell Westbrook could be seen yapping at each other. During the latter incident, the two literally went nose-to-nose, touching foreheads before being sperated.
After the Warriors' 108-91 loss to the Thunder, Durant was asked about the exchanges.
"Man, that's just ball. That's just ball me. He's competitive, I'm competitive. We like to go at it. Both of us. That's just part of the game, so I respect it. I got nothing but love for him. I'm expecting it again when we play them again. All fun and games to me," Durant told reporters.
Despite what the cameras caught, Durant tried to downplay the level of emotions between the two teams on the court.
"Can't let emotion seep into business. Can't do that. So I think on our end, we were just playing our game. They just played better than us tonight. The emotion around the court, around the arena, around the city I'm sure was a little higher than it was on the court. can't let emotion seep in. Just have to play better than that," Durant said.
When a reporter kept pressing about the incidents between Durant and Westbrook, the Warriors forward pushed back.
"Did you watch the game? Or did you watch for the scuffles? The story is about the game. We lost, they kicked our a**, they played a great. You should give them credit for how they played. We should be better. It's not about who's in each other's faces. That stuff is not real. So please, don't believe it. All the fans, they are lying to you. It's all about basketball. They played a great game. We didn't," Durant retorted.
So how did returning to his former home for the first time this season compare to his first trip back last year?
"It was a little better. Nothing like the first. I'm sure everyone in the arena said what they had to say," Durant said.
The next two times Durant and Westbrook meet up, it will be in Oakland (Feb.6 and Feb. 24). The Warriors don't return to Oklahoma City until April 3, 2018.
Draymond Green and Joel Embiid are two of the biggest trash talkers in the NBA.
After the 76ers blew a 22-point halftime lead to the Warriors on Saturday, Embiid tweeted "we know what it feels like to blow a big lead" to take a jab at the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals two years ago.
Green finally saw the tweet and it looks like it's all fun and games between the two. The Warriors' defensive star says he's "looking forward to playing against you (Embiid) for years."
😂😂😂😂😂😂 looking forward to playing against you for years my man. Fun times https://t.co/I2YlSfyFXg— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) November 22, 2017
While tweeting the response, Green had even more to say.
Draymond Green as he’s getting ready to respond to Joel Embiid’s latest classic jab: “He’s f***ing hilarious. Man, I love that dude.” pic.twitter.com/Zr1ahZi7q6— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 22, 2017
In the Warriors' 124-116 win over the 76ers on November 18, Green scored eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished eight assists. Embiid scored 21 points to go with eight rebounds.