The NBA Says The Darnedest Things

NBA players love trash talk, jokes and, of course, the odd ill-advised quip that makes the league’s public relations department shiver. Sometimes, however, they actually have something important to say. This week already has had its share of memorable sound bytes, so we break down the funniest, weirdest and boldest ones we heard.
 Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons

KD is not nice
The Oklahoma City Thunder have squared off against the Portland Trail Blazers four times this season. The Northwest Division foes split the series, 2-2 and tied in cumulative scoring 401-401. On the heels of their 98-95 win at the Moda Center last night, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant said, “We respect this team, they respect us. But we don’t like them and they don’t like us. That’s point blank.”



Mean green
Footage of Miami’s LeBron James throwing an alley-oop pass off a wall to himself and elevating for the reverse slam dunk went viral on Monday. The longtime dunk contest avoider reserves his showiest dunks for practice and pre-game warmups. Hours before the Miami Heat tipped off against the Pheonix Suns at the US Airways Center yesterday, Suns high-flyer, Gerald Green, told he will counter if James dunks during pre-game warmups. “We’ll see if he does something. If he does something, of course I’m going to do something,” Green said. “This is my home team. I can’t let him show me up like that.”


Photo: Steven Shundich/Creative Commons

Top four
The heads of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Oscar Robertson constitute LeBron James’ hypothetical basketball Mount Rushmore. James sees himself up there someday. “I’m going to be one of the top four that’s ever played this game, for sure,” James told NBA TV yesterday, “And if they don’t want me to have one of those top four spots, they’d better find another spot on that mountain. Somebody’s gotta get bumped.”


Photo: Sacramento Bee Blogs

Bennett breaks out
It only took 40 games, but last summer’s top pick recorded his first double-double. Cleveland’s Anthony Bennett scored 19 points and grabbed 10 boards against the Sacramento Kings last night. Kings head coach Michael Malone told, “Anthony Bennett kicked our ass. I’m sure Chris Grant is smiling at home—and deservedly so—because that was his No. 1 pick. He believed in him, and he gets his career high in points and rebounds against us.”


Photo: HangDynasty/Creative Commons

Channeling Simba
Boston’s Jared Sullinger watched The Lion King while rehabbing from his back surgery last season. He likes the Disney classic’s message about overcoming challenges and uses it to motivate him. Sullinger watched the movie before the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 29. He broke out of a slump, scoring 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Sullinger told Basketball Insiders he watches the whole movie every non-game day. He proceeded to recite the lyrics of “Hakuna Matata.”


Social media bonus: Fake Dwight Howard
A woman who goes by @_glossylipsss15 on Twitter posted a photo of her and her sisters posing with “NBA superstar @DwightHoward!!!”

People were quick to point out the man in the photo is not Dwight Howard. The woman insisted he is.

Howard commented on the photo via Instagram Monday night: “that’s not me sweetie dude lied to y’all I [just] played a game.” At least he was “nice, cool” and “HUMBLE” about the mix-up.


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