DT Mailbag: A Durant/LeBron ticket in 2016?

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I know this is probably punishable by death in Oklahoma, but after watching the awesome chemistry KD and LeBron had in the Olympics and the fact that they genuinely seem to like each other, can you imagine them teaming up at some point in their careers? Obviously fingers crossed it would be in OKC, but KD’s a free agent in 2016 with LeBron being one then too if he exercised his player option. Is this insane to picture happening? — Greg A.

Honestly, it’s not. And I had the same exact thought too periodically throughout the Olympics. KD and LeBron clearly do enjoy each other and on top of it, have complementing games for each other. A LeBron-Durant pick-and-roll would be completely sick. You’re talking about two dynamic scorers that do it in similar, but completely different ways. There’s really no good way to stop it.

It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but I don’t think it’s something either would go for. Especially Durant. KD’s mindset has always been of the “beat ’em, don’t join ’em” school, at least as of now. Plus, he clearly has a very good setup for the future. There’s nothing wrong with his current team and no reason it shouldn’t be in a position to compete for the next three, four, five or maybe 10 years.

Maybe down the line they’d want to pair up and be friends on the court, but for now, it seems to me like KD and LeBron are like new age Magic-Bird rivalry. Obviously it’s not exactly the same, but the similarities are there. LeBron plays a lot like Magic and KD has some Bird qualities to his game. And while Bird and Magic weren’t exactly friends while playing like LeBron and KD currently are, there was a clear mutual respect and admiration for the other. They play with contrasting styles, have contrasting personalities but are pure, unbridled greatness on the floor.

Part of me would rather see KD and LeBron duke it out for the next 10 years than them join up and rule the basketball world, even if it was in OKC. That sounds crazy, but I think I’d rather have six epic Finals matchups between the two with them splitting rather than six NBA titles with them together. I need my head checked, I realize.

There will be a window for it though. And surely, surely, they pondered the idea in London. Most feel like the Miami trio hatched their play to team up in Beijing in 2008, so maybe there was some of that same conspiring going on in London. Maybe it was LeBron and Durant. Or a natural fit of Westbrook and Kevin Love figuring out a way to reunite. Or Durant, Harden and Westbrook talked about playing together. Oh wait.

Would love to see Daily Thunder post some thoughts on how you all think the Olympic experience compares to the Finals experience in terms of pushing the Thunder guys to the next level, and if it will be a bigger deal given that it was basically a team experience for three of them, plus Ibaka getting PT in the gold medal game? Not a great question, but I think you see where I’m going…that this is a pretty unique past two months for the Thunder given that unlike most of the other guys on the Olympic team, they had teammates playing alongside them…. — Evan R.

Quite a few folks had this same kind of question/suggestion. It was clear following the World Championships that those experiences had a positive impact on both Westbrook and Durant. So there’s no doubt that the London games are going to be good for the Thunder. Westbrook, Durant and Harden got to measure their games against the best players in the world on a daily basis in practice, watching and learning and growing. Plus, getting coached up by Coach K is always a good thing.

There’s a certain level of confidence it instills too. Knowing that not only you’re good on your NBA team but good enough to make the best team in the world, and contribute, is big. The only unfortunate thing that could’ve come out of it is if someone got hurt, and luckily, no one did.

For Ibaka, I think any basketball he plays is good. He’s still refining his game. He didn’t see a lot of consistent time, but being on the floor playing in a high level competition will help with something. You don’t get worse playing basketball, you really only get better. Unless you’re Greg Oden.

Saw that story you linked about KD’s dad and all I could think about is why his last name is his mother’s maiden name and his mom kept her ex-husband’s last name. What’s the deal? — Kristen J.

No clue. But I’m glad he went with Durant. I’m pretty sure he’s five percent better because his name is Kevin Durant and not Kevin Pratt. Kevin Pratt doesn’t sound like an NBA superstar scoring machine. Kevin Durant does.

Hey my name is [redacted], im a HUGE thunder fan and russell westbrook is my favorite player. Im contacting you to set an example to kids on how not to be afraid to be different and go after your dream,no matter what it is, my dream is to work in your arena or do some commercials/modeling for OKC, I think this will be a HUGE idea just off how much I resemble my favorite nba player. OKC is on the rise and why not keep it on the rise in all categories! Thank you #ThunderUp — N/A

He also emailed side-by-side pictures of himself and Westbrook and I must say, there really is a resemblance. So heads up Thunder, if you need a Russell Westbrook lookalike for a really weird reason, here you go. Or is that why you signed Daniel Orton?

Have a question or thought? Email dailythunder@gmail.com.