Kevin Durant had to expect some negative backlash for his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and form a “super-team” with the Golden State Warriors in free agency. The move was met with so much negatively, mainly because may expected Durant to ultimately re-sign with the Thunder, continuing his partnership with Russell Westbrook.
But then Durant announced he was signing with the Warriors and, as the saying goes, “all Hell broke loose”.
Durant told China’s Sina Sports that he talked to Westbrook before signing with Golden State.
“I just told him. I let him know how I felt,” Durant said of his conversation with Westbrook. “Obviously, our relationship won’t ever be the same again. But it’s something I wanted to do, and I expressed that to him. Hopefully he respected it.”
Durant also mentioned that their relationship “won’t ever be the same again”.
Durant also spoke about all of the negative reaction from fans, analysts and fellow players who criticized his decision, many feeling that he was trying to take an “easy route” to an NBA Championship and others feeling he betrayed Oklahoma City.
Regardless of which negative viewpoint those critics had, Durant has accepted the fact that he is now perceived as a “villain”.
“Yeah, it’s difficult. I’m not used to this much attention, but I’m getting used to it,” Durant said. “Obviously, people don’t like me right now, but it is what it is. I can’t please them all. I’ve got to still go out there and handle my business.
“They’re not going to get up at 9 o’clock in the morning and work on their game for me. I’ve got to do all of that on my own. I can’t worry about people on the outside. I’ve got to go to sleep at night, I’ve got to get up and I’ve got to perform. I’ve got to do all that stuff. It is what it is. Once we start playing the games, I’ll feel a little bit more better. Right now, it’s definitely a change. There’s a different vibe going around, but I’ll get used to it.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also commented on Durant’s free agency decision saying that is was not “ideal from the league standpoint.”
At the end of the day, Durant made it clear that his only goal is to win an NBA Championship.
“I want to win a championship, but you’ve got to play great basketball to win a championship,” Durant said. “Those guys were so close last year, so they’re hungry this year to get back. I want to help them. I want to be the guy that takes them over the top.
“We don’t have any selfish players on the team. That’s the thing: I think everybody expects us to play selfish, but guys want to go out there and win and just play the right way. That’s what they’ve been doing. It’s on me to come in there and adapt to what they’ve been doing. It’s going to take me some time, but I’m going to get used to it pretty quick.”