Kevin Durant joins the Calabro Show

Feb 10, 2011, 9:28 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:54 pm


By Jessamyn McIntyre

NBA All-Star and former Sonic Kevin Durant took some time to call in to the Kevin Calabro Show today, immediately following the abrupt resignation of Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan, which was among the many things he discussed:

On Sloan’s resignation: “I am very surprised, especially because earlier in the week he just extended for another year. Playing against coach Sloan four times a year, you could tell what kind of coach he is by playing his guys. They always play hard, they’re always focused and played the right way, and it’s tough to see a great guy leave the game of basketball. I’m sure those guys on the team are going to play hard and remember what coach Sloan taught them.”

On Thunder head coach Scott Brooks: “He’s brought the enthusiasm I think. He’s a young coach like us, so he knows what we’re going through, he’s been through it through this league, the ups, the downs. He’s won a championship, but been on some of the worst teams as well. His first year, that’s what we were going through. We were playing tough basketball, we were very young, we were in games, but we were losing. These last two years, we’ve just found a way to win games. Every day at practice it’s tough for us – he brings the energy and never lets us slack off. With a young group like that, that’s the type of coach we need. He’s just doing great in trying to help me and Russell (Westbrook) and Jeff (Green) try to be leaders. He’s been a big help.”

On teammate Russell Westbrook: “Russell has grown a lot, his confidence is growing every day. I think if you have confidence and opportunity in this league you can go far as a player. Of course he’s getting that opportunity to be a star point guard, but his confidence has skyrocketed. He’s going out and being aggressive, and that’s what we need from him on both ends. He’s a feisty player, and that’s what you need to survive as a point guard in this league.”

On his recent confrontation with Chris Bosh: “It’s all good – I mean, every time I step on the floor I’m still gonna be that competitive guy. I mean, I can go up to him and talk to him about the situation because it’s over…but everything happens on the court like that on the time. Not just between me and Chris Bosh, it happens on other teams between other players. That’s just that competitive nature everybody in this league has. As a player, I’m gonna stand up for my teammate as well, but it’s over with. But at the same time, I can’t let my emotions get the best of me.”

On the NBA’s one-and-done rule: “I like it how it is. I think it’s good like that, kids get the experience of playing against good competition in college, instead of going straight from high school. You grow up a little too, going to college. I can only speak on my experience – I think once I went down to school I grew up a lot as a person – as a man – off the floor, and prepared me for my time in the league. I think it’s good how it is now, you know a lot of kids want to go out of high school, but I think if they go to college they really know what the game is about, what life is about, and you can move forward from there.”

On whether he thinks Carmelo Anthony will be a Nugget for the rest of the season: “I think so, because with the dealing window, he would have been traded, I think a couple weeks ago, maybe even a month ago. So I think he’s gonna stay and you never know what’s going to happen in the summer, but just from watching what’s been happening this whole season, if he was going to get traded, he would have been traded a while back.”

On who he thinks is the college basketball player of the year: “I like Ohio State a lot, I like the kid (Jared) Sullinger there. They’re doing a great job this season – winning the road, winning big games. I also like, of course, Texas, they’ve been playing very well. I have to add Duke into the mix too, they’re playing phenomenal basketball. So I’d say Duke, Ohio State, Texas. But I think the player of the year has to be either Nolan Smith or Jimmer Fredette, you know those guys are carrying their teams. Especially Nolan Smith, after their point guard went down earlier in the season he’s been carrying that team, so I think he should be player of the year.”

You can listen to all of Kevin Durant’s interview here.

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