NBA All-Star notebook: Durant loves competing against James
BY Associated Press
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 5:11 AM
span class="leadp"> Kevin Durant wanted to set the record straight once and for all about his relationship with LeBron James.
"I hate him," he said before breaking into laughter.
Then he got serious.
"We're actually really good friends," he continued. "I think people want us to hate each other so bad just because we're battling against each other."
That doesn't mean he has any good feelings toward him when the pair face each other.
"I like the friendly competition, but when we're on the court we're the furthest thing away from being friends," he said. "We don't take it easy on each other."
That much was never more evident than when the two competed in last year's NBA Finals, which the Heat won in five games.
"He's going to go down as one of the best of all time," Durant said about James. "I don't think anyone will be like LeBron James. I'm glad I get a chance to compete against him year in and year out ..."
Fashion star: When Heat star Dwyane Wade was putting together an ensemble that included super-skinny jeans before meeting the media for the All-Star game, he failed to realize that he'd have to climb a riser of about three feet to get to the podium.
"I don't know if I can get up here," he said looking around with a pained expression. "My pants are too tight."
He was finally able to gingerly hoist himself up to the podium to face the throng of reporters.
Fittingly, the first question was about his style. Wearing a white Moschino button down shirt, a blazer and Gucci glasses, he said he doesn't take his cues on dressing from anyone, preferring to cultivate an individual style.
Old LeBron?: James has never competed in the slam-dunk contest on All-Star Weekend. Asked Friday if he ever will, James said he thinks his window of opportunity may have passed.
He's only 28, but playing his 10th NBA season.
"I'm getting older," he said. "It ain't looking good."
Payton vs. Jordan: Back in the day, Gary Payton relished the opportunity to guard Michael Jordan.
Payton was selected as a finalist for election to the Hall of Fame on Friday, kicking off All-Star Weekend in Houston. Jordan, meanwhile, turns 50 on Sunday, and the league is planning a tribute.
"We always had great battles. That's what brought it out of me," Payton said.