More than a week after his much–discussed on-court confrontation with Draymond Green took place in Los Angeles, Kevin Durant tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he’s ready to move on from that incident, adding that it will have no bearing on his free agency decision during the summer of 2019.
“Nah, [it won’t factor],” Durant said on Tuesday. “Because at the end of the day, I’m just a ballplayer that’s just trying to be in a great environment to play basketball and groom my skills every day. And I want to compete on a level that once the game starts, I’m just totally comfortable with my surroundings, with just going out there and being me.”
Durant spoke at length to Haynes about the aftermath of the altercation, which he says he didn’t consider as serious as everyone else made it out to be. While the two-time Finals MVP admits he was upset in the moment, he tells Haynes it didn’t take long to put the whole thing in perspective.
“I was upset, but I know that I can’t hold on to something like this,” Durant said. “I know that I’ve got to make a choice with myself, like how long are you going to be upset about this to the point where you’re going to let it affect what you do on the floor or how you approach the game? Once it gets there now, I got to make a grown-man decision and tell myself, ‘Look, man, no matter what, you still got to come to work every single day. It’s going to work out. It’s going to figure itself out.’ And I think everyone’s been handling it the best way they could and we’re just trying to move forward with it.”
Durant has a player option for 2019/20, but is expected to turn it down to become an unrestricted free agent. He’ll have full Bird rights at that point, meaning he could sign a five-year deal with the Warriors. He could get up to four years from any other team, and several big-market clubs around the NBA expect to have significant cap room, including the Knicks, Nets, Clippers, and Lakers.
There has already been plenty of speculation about Durant’s eventual decision, and last week’s incident only helped to create more “outside” noise, which the star forward suggests has been more frustrating than the confrontation itself.
“It’s always going to come back,” Durant said to Haynes. “Like, ‘Are they all right? Man, he didn’t play well. Is he going to leave?’ Why do I even have to think about that at this point? … Then it turned into, ‘K.D.’s going to this place, he doesn’t like the Warriors no more. He should go here, he should go there.’ More distractions.”