Rolling Stone

Assessing KD’s latest comments

There is part of me that doesn’t want to cover this story anymore. Not because it isn’t important — but because it feels like time to move on. But then the other part of me understands this is the biggest story of our summer. The biggest story of our team’s existence thus far. And perhaps the biggest story the game of basketball has seen in quite some time. So when Kevin Durant decides to open his mouth in regard to Oklahoma City, it would feel wrong to ignore it.

But I completely understand if ignoring it is exactly what you choose to do.

Appearing on the November cover of Rolling Stone, Durant wasn’t shy when asked to open up on a wide variety of topics. He touched on his upbringing, his decision, Russell Westbrook and more. The entire piece is a fantastic read, albeit a little difficult to stomach. I will miss Durant in OKC — I will. But I can’t say I’ll miss this Durant because…well… I still haven’t figured out who he is just yet. I guess it’s possible I never really knew. Which is fine.

While it would be ridiculous for me to sit back and refute every last comment Durant made in this article, I’d like to focus on a couple.

  1. The notion that he and Russell Westbrook were nothing more than “work friends.

When asked about Russell Westbrook just last summer, Durant had this to say:

I can’t really explain it. Someone you can lean on, someone you can talk to. He’s there for you. It may be different for someone else because, as NBA players, you have trust issues a lot. But when he opens up to people, he’s not Russell Westbrook, No. 0, point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. I’m Russell Westbrook that I was 20 years ago. Just a kid who enjoys being around people, who enjoys smiling, who’s nice to people who is genuine.

And then — you know — there was this:

Lie to me if you want to lie to me — that’s fine. But I’m not buying what he’s selling here. I just won’t do it.

2. His belief the team/organization wasn’t “with him” anymore:

I don’t owe this comment a thoughtful response. I just wanted to single it out and comment — for the record — that it’s absolutely absurd.

Anyway — I pulled a few more quotes and listed them below. Interesting stuff.

On the way the Thunder was managed:

“Where other teams went out and got that veteran guy, we kept getting younger.”

Wanda Pratt on her son’s mentality in regard to OKC:

“But this summer he said, ‘Mama, I can’t do it anymore. They’re not in this thing with me, we’re not together like we were — I feel like I need something different.’

On thinking the series was over when the Thunder held a 3–1 lead in the Western Conference Finals:

“Man, I saw us in the ball caps and T-shirts, with our fans going crazy and dancing. That town was so good to us, showed us love even when we lost. I wanted it more for them than even me.”

On his decision to leave OKC:

“It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave. Especially after they blew a lead in the Finals, because I damn sure wasn’t going there if they’d won. But after Game Seven, I called up my agent and said, ‘Damn, dude, Golden State — what if?’ “

On his “work friendship” with Russell Westbrook:

“We had our own cliques that we hung with on the road. Russell had his guys, I had mine. It was never a bad thing. Just how it was.”