Breaking news out of the NBA: Stars do care about their shooting percentages from the floor.
At least, that's the latest from Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, who claims he will check current shooting totals in his head before letting a long-range shot go at the end of a quarter.
Royce Young of the Daily Thunder had this detailed report about what Thunder players think about the growing phenomenon, including Durant's personal reaction to being asked what he does in that situation:
It depends on what I’m shooting from the field. First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.
Durant is shooting 51.6 percent from the field this year, good four fourth place among players that aren't centers or power forwards. His sentiments are part of a growing trend around basketball, and it's something Scott Brooks wants his team to stop worrying about.
The OKC head coach and former NBA player is unhappy with that attitude, per Young's report:
We talked about it, about seven weeks ago maybe, couple months ago, and we talked about it, Brooks said. I said ‘We have to shoot that shot. There’s still time in the game — shoot it.’ The only time we don’t shoot it is if we’re up and it’s the last seconds because you don’t want to do that.
Miami Heat three-point marksman Shane Battier hovered in between those two lines in a recent interview with USA Today's Sam Amick:
If you're a true shooter, those shots add up...[Although] the heave is a plus-play. But unfortunately we're not judged on the plus-plays. We're judged on (shooting) percentages. I think they should take the heave out of the stat book. It's common sense.
The current rules don't even penalize volume shooters like James and Williams as much as some of their teammates. As Battier noted, spot-up shooters like himself see their percentages take a dive if they take less shots over the course of a game.
And if these role players aren't inclined to shoot from way out, neither will a superstar whose legacy could be negatively impacted.
Just ask Kevin Durant.