Kevin Durant Sounds off on NBA, Thunder and Warriors in Revealing Interview With Wall Street Journal

Kevin Durant is the most criticized NBA player at the moment. His loyal fans become his enemies overnight, because people can’t understand him. Durant likes to play basketball, that’s all. Some people don’t understand his love for the game, and hate Durant for doing what’s best for him.

“Some days I hate the circus of the NBA,” Durant said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “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.”

Basketball is the greatest power for Durant. He said, “Without basketball. I wouldn’t have done much on earth.” Wouldn’t have traveled the world, or met politicians, entrepreneurs, moguls, rappers, each of whom adds to his store of knowledge and advances his search. “I wouldn’t have seen stuff that I’ve seen, compared to my friends I grew up with. Wouldn’t have gone to India. Or Hawaii.”

Being part of the Golden State Warriors was great and horrible at the same time. He wanted to be a Warrior, but things didn’t turn the way he wanted. He didn’t belong there.

“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” Durant said. “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? Shit, 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,” he added. “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.”

His conflict with Draymond Green had nothing to do with his departure.

“It was a bullshit argument,” he explained. “That meant nothing. Absolutely nothing. We were good before it. We were great.”

Durant played really well in the Golden State. He has to start the whole thing over again.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off, because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.”

Media members, all the speculation and fan anxiety destroyed Durant’s magic in the Golden State. “It didn’t feel as great as it could have been,” he said.

His experience in Oklahoma was even worse. His fans couldn’t cope with the idea that he was leaving. That’s what broke every connection with the team. There’s no chance for him to go back there.

“People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood,” Durant recalls. “People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”Durant went back to Oklahoma City as a visitor in February 2017. He will never forget their hate. “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?

“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.”

Today, Durant is part of the Nets family. Some say that he wasn’t happy with his success in the Golden State, adding that nothing’s good enough for him. That’s absolutely false.

“It’s very rare in our lives when we envision and picture something and it comes together the perfect way you envision it. [Winning a title] was the only time in my life that happened, and that summer was the most exhilarating time. Every day I woke up I just felt so good about myself, so good about life.… That was a defining moment in my life—not just my basketball life.”

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