Since joining the Golden State Warriors, something is becoming very clear about Kevin Durant. Turns out he’s not that clever when it comes to saying the right things when talking to the media, which is maybe why the Oklahoma City Thunder did such a good job of turning him and their players against reporters over the years, trying to minimize their exposure and talk time with the press.
Durant’s latest words of wisdom? He talked about a lot of things in a Rolling Stone interview, but the most interesting thing was how he felt things kinda fell into place to make him go to the Warriors, and that had they beaten the Cavaliers in the NBA finals and won a second consecutive championship, he would have not gone to them. Yeah, right.
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?’
It’s hard to believe Durant at this point, especially when he’s trying to make it clear at every opportunity and impasse how much happier he is with the Warriors. Suddenly he’s also talking about how he and Russell Westbrook were never that close. The same Westbrook that the media keeps egging for a reaction every time Durant opens his mouth. The most recent case? Durant praising the Warriors in practice and generally being with them, which he knew would be taken as a slight at how thing work in Oklahoma City.
Durant has really been working hard to make himself the victim in all of this. Earlier in the offseason he talked about how difficult it was for him to disappoint the fans in Oklahoma City, only he said it in a way that came out as arrogant and a tad insulting. Maybe it’s what we want to see, but with Durant talking in the interview about how he’s always been a pleaser during his life and putting others ahead of him, you catch a little vibe of BS and simply bad PR from top to bottom.
And maybe this is something different. Maybe Durant is embracing the villain role he won’t be able to escape in any case, and simply saying these things to cause a reaction. The Warriors are no longer anyone’s darling, unless you live in the Bay Area. They’re better than you, and they know it, just like in Globo Gym. Durant is part of that clique now, and he seems to be happy to flaunt how in love he is with his new teammates, unlike his previous ones.
I believe the former is true: Durant simply sucks at turning down the flames. He really cares what people think about him, and can’t stand being the bad guy. The problem is, that in the twisted narrative NBA fans create when players leave a team after almost a decade, he is the bad guy, and there’s no avoiding it, unless he shuts up about how much better things are for him now. He’s going to take heat in any case, but this way, he’s only making things worse for himself.