kevin durant

Shane Battier began the practice of sticking his hand in an opposing shooter’s face midway through his career and, by now, is known for it around the league. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant said he “hates” it, the first time Battier says any player has acknowledged it.

“Kobe would never say that,” Battier said. “He’d swear up and down on all his championship trophies it doesn’t bother him. He wouldn’t give you anything.”

Battier said he respects Durant as much as anyone in the game for how he carries himself and plays the game. The public talk of Battier’s defense surprised the Heat player, though.

Asked if anyone else in the league face–guards opponents like he does, Battier said: “A couple of guys do it to me just to piss me off. But their technique needs work. It wasn’t effective.”

– Reported by Dave Hyde of theĀ South Florida Sun-Sentinel