Thunder Coach Scott Brooks and franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant were available to talk to the media after tonight's All-Star Game. Both were a part of the West's 162-155 losing effort, where KD finished with 38 Points, 10 Rebounds, and 6 Assists. Our man Craig A. Brenner was on the scene, and you can find a transcript of his questions (as well as audio of the other questions) below.-Z
Craig A. Brenner: Kevin Durant put on another show tonight in the All-Star Game. What did you see from him tonight, with his performance from downtown and his dunks?
Scott Brooks: KD's a great player. And what I didn't see tonight that I did see all season long is defend. He didn't defend tonight. But, you know, it was a great game. It was very competitive. KD's a great teammate, he does all the things we've asked, he leads, and he impacts the game both ways. He doesn't just wanna be a scorer, he wants to be a playmaker or a defender. That's what he's done all season for us.
Brenner: A lot of coaches talk about how difficult it is to manage the minutes. They have a plan going into the game when it comes to all of their games. Were you able to execute what you wanted to as far as getting each player the right about of minutes and deciding who to go with in the fourth quarter?
Brooks: You can't please 13 starters. Or 12 starters, since Kobe's out. But 12 players deserved to start, deserved to play minutes, deserved to get fourth quarter minutes, deserved to get play calls.... You just try to do your best. You try to get the respect of the veteran guys, the starters, and the guys that have been there multiple years. And then some guys you talked to before, and they might be banged up. You don't wanna throw them out there, play extra minutes. But it's hard. Stressful, and at the same time exciting to be around 12 of the greatest players in the conference.
Brenner: Coach, did you....ask the guys to play defense?
Brooks: Uhhhh.... no. But they played enough. Obviously, it was an All-Star Game. You're talking about amazingly talented players, committed to the game that they love at an early age. Really, I marvel at all of their talents. It's really cool to see them all come together and within 15 or 45 minutes of practice. Really, 42 and 46 assists, that's not easy to do. And they do a great job of playing with one another.
Craig A. Brenner: You put up kind of a scoring show there in the game. Does the MVP ever come to mind? Like, "Hey, this might be something attainable for me?" Or is it just about, "We blew an 18 point lead, we need to close this out?"
Kevin Durant: I'm just trying to have fun with the game, man. Of course, you wanna win. We were up 18. But leads in this game, they come and go. We got 127 Shots, so that's a first. But it was fun. It was one of those games that you're always gonna remember. Both teams played extremely well. We just lost.
Brenner: You had a chance to play with James Harden again in this game. What is it like when you guys get back together? You guys seem like you're really close.
Durant: It was fun, definitely. James is a great friend of mine, and he'll be a brother to me forever. I'm moreso excited that he's in his second All-Star game. All of these guys, seeing how they are as players and as people. You know, outside of the game, how they approach the game. I always take note of that, just watch, and try to get better myself from these guys. Watching James, watching Steph, watching Dirk, Tony Parker, all of those guys. How they approach the game, the type of personalities that they have. It's very interesting to see. James is a great friend of mine, and I'm excited that he's here.