Miami Heat star LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder's franchise player Kevin Durant are teaming up this week near James' hometown of Akron, Ohio for a series of two-a-day workouts in an effort to prepare for the season, which tips off in October, according to ESPNs Brian Windhorst:
"We pushed each other every day," James said about last year's workouts. "At the time I envisioned us getting to (the Finals) against each other."
The pair had dubbed last year's preseason workouts "Hell Week" and admitted that the time spent going up against each other in the offseason put them in a better position to win in the playoffs; the Heat defeated the Thunder in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals.
Less than a month after the Finals wrapped up, James and Durant began practicing together on the U.S. Olympic basketball team, marking the beginning of their path to winning gold in London. But the lack of a break between the Finals and the Olympics led Durant to reveal in July that it bothers him a little bit that he has to spend part of his offseason with James, less a month after losing to him in the Finals.
Their offseason rivalry extends to charity exhibition games that the two played last summer during the lockout and even a flag football game against each other at The University of Akron last year. James and Durant will soon have the chance to play against each other after their week in Ohio together; the Thunder get another crack at the Heat on Christmas.