Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Durant and Green on NBA.com

A little while ago, I blogged about the NBA's rookie photo shoot. NBA.com used that opportunity to grab a lot of rookie-related content for the slower part of the summer and naturally Sonics picks Kevin Durant and Jeff Green have been a big part of that.

First off, check out the NBA.com rookie survey, which saw the league's newcomers surveyed about their peers. Durant was an overwhelming favorite for Rookie of the Year, getting 23 of the 44 votes. No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden was next in line with just five votes. Green got two votes, tying with several other players for second.

Durant was also the clear answer for the question asking which rookie would play in the most All-Star Games before his career is over, getting 24 votes. (Oden, with 14, did narrow the gap.) Green was also a leading vote-getter as the most overlooked rookie.

NBA.com's John Schumann used the voting results as the lede for a Q&A with Durant conducted in Tarrytown. Durant is all alone in being unable to explain the results:
I wish I could tell you. I don't know. It's an honor for my classmates to think
I'll be Rookie of the Year, but I'm not looking for that. I'm just looking to
get better.

Meanwhile, NBA.com colleague Dave McMenamin interviewed Green. I'm sure that had to be tough for McMenamin, who has referenced his alma mater (Big East rival Syracuse) several times. Still, he got Green's take on the summer experience:
The first game was more like a learning challenge – learning the speed of the
game, the plays, the players, the tempo. ... After a couple of games I kind of
got situated into the offense, learned my plays more and it kind of made me able
to have a open mind about things by knowing what I can do at each point [on the
court] and where my teammates are going to be. I think over the course of the
summer league in Vegas I got pretty comfortable with my teammates and just went
out and played.