Kevin Durant is the Thunder’s union representative, however he hasn’t been present at any of bargaining sessions. He regrets that, but still said he’s been in the loop through email and teammate Nick Collison, who has filled in for him.
He spoke to reporters today following the wrap of his basketball camp and shortly after the league announced a lockout was coming and said the players weren’t about to back down. Via the AP:
“We’re going to stand up for what we have to do, no matter how long it’s going to take,” Durant told The Associated Press after the conclusion of his two-day youth basketball camp. “No matter how long the lockout’s going to take, we’re going to stand up. We’re not going to give in.”
Durant acknowledged “it might have to take all the way up until maybe December or January” — meaning the start of the NBA season in October would be jeopardized — but the players are committed to getting a CBA they feel is fair.
“The way the CBA worked before is something we really liked. There’s no need to change it,” Durant told AP. “Things have been going very well for us, as far as the league, revenue and things like that are concerned. We want to stick with that pace, but of course the owners want to go a different way with it.
“We’re going to stick with it until we come out with a good deal.”
The Thunder are opening their brand new practice facility soon, but players won’t get a taste of it. Durant said he toured it last night, but that’ll be the last time he steps inside for a while as the league will physically lock players out starting at 12:01 a.m.
“All we can do is continue to just keep praying that we get things done quickly and we just move on with what we have to do, and not let the fans suffer more than they have to as far as not watching us play,” Durant said. “I think as players we’re really hurting, too, if we can’t play basketball. It’s already hurting me that I can’t be able to talk to my coaches, GMs and the guys that work for the team.”
By the sound of it, it could be a lot longer before you’re talking to any of them.