Kevin Durant Talks FA Decision, Warriors, Thunder

Kevin Durant hasn’t spoken much this summer about his decision to leave the Warriors for the Nets in free agency, but he opened up on that topic in a conversation with J.R. Moehringer of The Wall Street Journal.

As Durant explained to Moehringer, after going through an extended series of meetings during his free agency in 2016, the star forward didn’t feel the need to do the same in 2019. He didn’t even need to speak to the Nets before making his decision, having felt confident from the outside that Brooklyn was the right fit.

Durant also noted that the motion offense the Warriors run “only works to a certain point,” and that the later rounds of the postseason require him to get more creative on offense. According to Moehringer, the 10-time All-Star wanted to go somewhere where he’d be “free to hone that sort of improvisational game” over the course of the season.

The opportunity to join his “best friend in the league,” Kyrie Irving, was a plus for KD too.

Over the course of Moehringer’s piece, Durant offers a handful of interesting thoughts and observations on his fit with the Warriors, his relationship with the Thunder, and his feeling about the NBA. Here are a few of those highlights:

On never fully fitting in with the Warriors:

“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted. But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.… Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? S–t, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.

“As time went on, I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there.”

On the hostile reaction he received from the Thunder and their fans when he returned as a Warrior:

“Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena. And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain’t talking to me? I’m like, ‘Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?’

“… I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that. I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That s–t must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.”

On the business of the NBA:

“Some days I hate the circus of the NBA. Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game. Sometimes I don’t like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.”

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24 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Talks FA Decision, Warriors, Thunder

  1. acarneglia

    Such a cry baby response to the OKC question. If KD went to any team other than the Warriors the response would’ve been different from the OKC fans. He left for the team that just went 73-9 in the regular season, overcame a 3-1 deficit to his Thunder, and lost in game 7 of the finals. If he went anywhere else the reaction would’ve been much different.

    • driftcat28

      100% agree! real immature of KD to not realize why the fans in OKC are mad. He couldve gone to any team and been remembered fondly but because he went to chase a ring with an already made super team, was a weak move.

      • Down with OBP

        I think it’s weaker that he won’t help out the community because the way trainers reacted to him.

        I’m just going to take my toys home until you appreciate me. Seems like a stunted emotional development.

        • Luke Adams

          To be fair, when Durant says “I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” the story doesn’t make it clear if “that” is referring to a specific incident or the totality of the OKC reaction. Here’s the full excerpt/context:

          ——-

          When he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State, reaction was intense. Overnight he went from icon to traitor. The memory still pains him.

          “People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood,” he recalls. “People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”

          At his first game in Oklahoma City as a visitor—February 2017—fans yowled for blood and brandished cupcakes, because Durant was supposedly soft. “Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena,” he says. “And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain’t talking to me? I’m like, Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?”

          His mother recalls one particularly appalling piece of video: a Thunder fan firing bullets into a No. 35 jersey. Bullets—after she and Durant and half his extended family relocated to Oklahoma, after they embraced the community, after Durant gave a million dollars to tornado victims.

          “I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” Durant says. “I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That shit must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.”

          • Natergater77

            Like Adams is spot on. HR did not include how the OKC community reacted and things they did. Should not matter what team he went to, the second the vandalized his home they showed their true colors.

            To call him a cry baby shows either how I’ll informed a person is or how truly uncaring they are.

            • Reflect

              I mean. It can be both. OKC reacted in a very awful way. Durant is still a human being and deserves to be treated that way by all 30 teams and fanbases.

              But also, he is a whiny and insecure dude who constantly thinks people are against him, and always figures out a way to blame everyone but himself. As great as he is, he really needs to grow up. Most of his problems are in his own head.

              • x%sure

                Problems? In his head? I see no problems with him, except the one somewhere in his lower leg. Or foot or ankle or achilles.

            • afsooner02

              Couple of idiots vandalizing something doesn’t mean the entire city gets lumped into that generalization.

              Still not sure what he was expecting when he ditched us for the 73 win team, at the last minute therefore making GS much stronger and also OKC had no time to sign any other FAs since they had all signed or been traded by July. He knew what he was doing and this coy, I am innocent routine is garbage.

              It’s my right to boo him and think that move was soft. Why would I cheer that move or him? But that’s as far as 99% of OKC fans go….I don’t condone threats or violence.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      I feel sorry for Nets fans who think he is bringing a championship to Brooklyn.

      • Banesays

        I feel sorry for you who thinks Russ and Harden are going to bring one to Houston.

  2. Major Factuh

    “What you going to teach me?”

    How to closeout a series and win a ring.

    • JonnyLucas

      Seems to me they won the two finals he actually played in. They lost twice without him.

    • sleepyfloyd

      They really didn’t do that in 2016 when they had a much more talented squad. Curry shrank that finals as he did this finals once KD was out for good.

      That closeout only happened once w/o KD.

      Don’t try to rewrite history

  3. Down with OBP

    Projection much: he claims the media always treated him like an outsider to the group…..after he spends a paragraph saying how he didn’t feel like he fit in.

    And really, how could anyone *not* think there was some degree of collusion behind the scenes. I get it’s an MVP that every team would love to have, but that he didn’t even speak to them. Clearly feelers had been sent throughout the year.

    • I mean the Nets weren’t even considered a serious suitor until their playoff run. Everyone (media and the fans) assumed he would to go the Knicks or stay with the Warriors. Players don’t necessarily have to speak with management/coaches to get a feel for the team. If anything, you’d want to speak to management as part of the final steps. He likely talked to former/current Nets players about the organization to get a feel for them. If he was talking to his peers, he’s going to get a real and truthful response about the organization. Going to speak with coaches/management first is going to result in the cookie-cutter “You’re a star, this is why we want you” type of presentation.

      And when Kyrie decided he wanted to play for the Nets, that probably was all KD needed to sign. Realistically, there isn’t much KD was going to gain by talking to management. Money was never the issue and talking about how the team plans to fit him in is a little redundant since he’s unlikely to play this year.

  4. imindless
    imindless

    Kd is very weak mentally, he truly cares what media and fans think and for this he will never be an all time great. When push comes to shove he always folds under pressure so he joins players that actually know how win chips. Very talent but not mentally tough or clutch.

    • JonnyLucas

      Absurd take. KD was the MVP in two finals, outplaying Lebron both times. His resume is spectacular.

    • sleepyfloyd

      Dumbass he’s going to finish as once of the top 5 scorers in history

  5. phillyballers

    I mean, as a player you have no real choice where you play for the 1st part of your career. The must-stay thing is nonsense. You’re drafted to X team, you get that extension you can’t turn down. His timing and handling of it sucked. Did he choke up against the Warriors, yes. Did he ring chase, yes. Did he work the system that had a Steph Curry underpaid to get that ring, yes. If Curry was on a Max deal, he probably doesn’t go to the Warriors bc of the $. Did he leave OKC high and dry, yes but the team traded away Harden and Ibaka and replaced them with Adam’s and terrible role pieces. If they had been swept, his departing is much less hated, still hated but not to the nth degree.

    He is thin skinned for sure, but prob best overall scorer/shooter in the game. Not all great players are great people, or great people persons. Still will be a HoFer, just always will catch shade for non-basketball reasons.

  6. yoyo137

    Yeah, when you leave your team who almost just beat a 73-9 team for that same 73-9 team, you deserve a standing ovation when you come back. Not like you just ruined their best chance of ever winning a title or anything. Everyone should love you in OKC after that.

    • JonnyLucas

      KD has always been a sensitive guy. He’s also one of the ten best players in the history of the league.

  7. ozzie

    He made his bed, so sleep in it. It’s a team effort, not just one person. Cry in NY and you’ll end up like Mello taking the checks to the bank, go home and watch TV reruns.

  8. chicity708

    KD is a joke he used GS for Championships just to add that to his Resume like Lebron did in Miami others wise he would have never won/But I’m starting to Think He is Afraid Of Competition he left the Loaded West To Run Through The East With No Problem what a Joke

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