Kevin Durant‘s return to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night meant another third of Brooklyn’s Big Three was back in the mix. In a 139-111 win by Brooklyn over the New Orleans Pelicans, it was a reminder of how dangerous these Nets can be when they’re healthy.
It also meant more trash talking on the Barclays Center hardwood, apparently.
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Draymond Green Says Kevin Durant Is NBA’s Top Trash Talker
Warriors forward Draymond Green made an appearance on the latest episode of Durant’s podcast, The ETCs. The former Golden States teammates delved into several different topics, from the competitiveness of younger players in today’s NBA, to Green’s mindset coming into the league as a second-round pick, to Durant’s trash talking.
Regarding that last point, Green thinks there’s no one better in the league.
“K say s*** that cuts you deep… to make you really feel less than as a basketball player,” Green said. “And the reality is there’s not much you can say back. You’re not nicer, your resume probably ain’t gonna (be) near his.”
Green has a point there. Durant, 32, is an 11-time All-Star, a two-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and the 2014 MVP.
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Durant Back Like He Never Left
Durant had missed 23 straight games due to a hamstring strain before returning Wednesday against the Pelicans. He came off the bench for just the second time in his career and played only 17 minutes, but other than that, he appeared to be the same player that was posting MVP-caliber numbers before his injury.
Durant scored 17 points off the bench on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, including two 3-pointers, and added seven rebounds and five assists.
“After missing two months and looking that comfortable, it’s crazy,” Blake Griffin said after the game, via ESPN.
Durant, meanwhile, expected that type of performance from himself.
“I expected to come out here and play the way I played,” he said, via ESPN. “I wasn’t trying to ease into the game. I just wanted to go out there and dive right into the action. The game was fast-paced already, so watching it from the bench I knew exactly how I needed to approach it. But it was pretty cool coming off the bench, I can’t lie. It was also good to play in front of the fans as well.”
The Nets were without James Harden on Wednesday as he deals with a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined at least 10 days. Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving — Brooklyn’s Big Three — have played only seven games together since the team traded for Harden on January 14.
Still, getting Durant back was a big piece of the puzzle for a Brooklyn squad that is eyeing a championship run later this year.
“I think everyone’s excited to see him,” Nets coach Steve Nash said, via ESPN. “Everyone knows what a big piece of our team he is, and he’s one of the all-time greats. So I think for our guys to see him out there was definitely exciting and gave them a boost. I think we’ve had a lot of that this year, guys in and out, so it was nice to have him back.
“It’s been a long absence that no one predicted, even when it first happened, so we’re just thrilled he felt good, played well and he’s back, and seeing that smile on his face was important to me as well. I’m just thrilled for him. He loves the game more than anything and he needs to be out there playing.”
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