Kevin Durant and LeBron James talk mutual respect

Kevin Durant and LeBron James are not doing a very good job of providing the fans of the NBA with a good old fashioned blood rivalry.Much has been said about Durant’s penchant for working out with James who in turn thumped him in 2011-2012 NBA Finals earlier in the year. James recent spoke at a Sports Illustrated event and painted a picture of where their semi-rivalry stands. “I know there is someone, somewhere, trying to take my spot,” James said in SI.

“And I know where he is, too. He’s in Oklahoma. He’s my inspiration because I see the direction he’s headed, and it’s the same direction I’m headed. I know his mind-set, and he knows mine. It’s a collision course. We’re driving one another.”

On Thursday Durant responded to James’ comments in a conversation with the Oklahoman. “Well, I really appreciate that comment because people want us to hate each other so bad. That’s true. People want us to hate each other,” Durant said. “I really respect him and I really compete against him hard — him and Kobe (Bryant).

I play against those guys, they’re the guys who I’m looking at, who I want to get to, and I compete against those guys really, really hard, but we’re friends.

We’re friends, everybody knows that. Once you get on that court and you’re playing against one of your friends, you play to win no matter what. Sometimes he might get the best of you, I might get the best of him one time. But I really respect him (James) and that’s cool that he thinks of me that way and I’ve just got to keep working hard to continue to get better.”

Kevin Durant personifies the term class in the face of adversity. It’s no secret that he had a hard time facing James shortly after the finals when they were part of the Summer Olympics team. It’s no secret that his will to win is extreme.

The problem for some is that they want Durant to morph into some sort of Ric Flair-style trash talker that’s boastful and consistently taking shots at James who is the current king-of-the-mountain.

Let the man live and watch him tap into the greatest Kevin Durant that he can be on his own terms.