Kevin Durant believes he was LeBron James’ first pick in All-Star draft

Have some respect — the Warriors didn’t reach the last three championship rounds by accident, and they still have their nucleus intact and in its prime. And last I looked, the major players around Capela haven’t won squat. That would be Mike D’Antoni, Chris Paul and James Harden. Notice that none of them said anything.

I appreciate Mr. Capela’s confidence in his team, though I question him disclosing that opinion on the record. The Rockets are a better team than any that the Warriors faced on the way to last year’s championship, but the Warriors are still the better team, because of their ability to play at an elite level on both ends of the floor. The Rockets did well to add defense and versatility last summer, but the champs still have more two-way players in their rotation.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant has been fined $15,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The comments were made following the Warriors’ 123-112 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Oracle Arena.

Durant accused referee James Williams of targeting him for an ejection during Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. Durant was ejected from the game with 2 minutes, 50 seconds by Williams.

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A day later, the Golden State Warriors’ star took a moment to reflect on his words and apologized to Williams. Durant said he was behaving like a ‘jerk’ and said he plans to say sorry in person the next time he sees Williams and vowed to handle himself more respectfully next time.

Thursday’s inaugural NBA All-Star draft was not televised, but that did not stop reporters from trying to find out who team captain LeBron James took with the No. 1 pick. The superstar forward played coy during a nationally televised interview on TNT despite Ernie Johnson’s best efforts to pry an answer out of him.

Guesses were already flowing, however, that Kevin Durant was indeed James’ first selection. Not only is he considered one of the best players in the league, but picking Durant also prevented Stephen Curry, the other team captain, from making sure he and his Warriors’ teammate remained on the same squad.

James drafted DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans), Anthony Davis (New Orleans), Kevin Durant (Golden State) and retro nba jerseys and Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics) to join him in the starting lineup. To complete Team LeBron, James selected LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Kevin Love (Cleveland), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), (New York Knicks), John Wall (Washington) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder) as reserves.

Curry will start on Team Stephen alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) and James Harden (Houston Rockets). For reserves, Curry chose (Minnesota Timberwolves), Draymond Green (Golden State), Al Horford (Boston), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto), Klay Thompson (Golden State) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota).

The Rockets (34-13, .723) tonight clinched the best record in the West through games played on Sunday, Feb. 4 among the 14 conference teams with a head coach eligible for the 2018 All-Star Game. Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was ineligible because he coached the West in last year’s All-Star Game.

Under a new All-Star Game format that replaces the traditional matchup between conferences, each 2018 All-Star Game coach will lead the team that includes the captain from the same conference. D’Antoni and his staff will coach the All-Star team that features Golden State’s Stephen Curry as captain.