It wasn’t a slight at James by any means. Kirilenko was actually paying LeBron the highest of compliments.
“For me personally, I would say Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, because they’re very motivated to play with the ball,” Kirilenko said Thursday night. “LeBron is very unselfish. He will pass it as soon as a guy is open. Kevin and Kobe, unless the guy is wide open, they will keep going at you. That’s why it makes it twice as hard to play against those guys.”
James has 21 assists in the first two games of the 2013-14 season.
Durant had 42 points in the Thunder's season-opening win Wednesday night. He went 9-for-24 from the field but had just one assist. Granted, he doesn’t exactly have James’ supporting cast.
Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, has averaged 25.5 points per game for his career.
• First-year Nets coach Jason Kidd was forced to watch Wednesday night’s season-opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at the team hotel because of his two-game suspension for DWI.
“I think one being on the road opening night is always tough, but I thought we have to grind those games out and find a way to win,” Kidd said Thursday.
“Offensively, we had some great looks down the stretch and we got some stops, but again Cleveland made some shots with five seconds or less and, like, they made all of them. It’s a game for us to learn [from] offensively and defensively. I thought as a whole we got some room to get better.”
Was it weird for Kidd not to coach?
“I’ve seen enough tape of them, so it’s not weird,” Kidd said. “Joe [Prunty] did a great job, the coaching staff did a great job throughout the game. It’s something that we knew was coming and we have one to go.”
Kidd said the plan is for Prunty to serve as the designated head coach again on Friday night against the Heat.
Is Kidd disappointed he won’t be able to coach Friday night?
“They’re all big nights. It’s another game,” Kidd said. “The guys, the staff we built can go on without me. So the guys feel comfortable and we had a chance to win last night.”