Kevin Durant admits fallout from move to Warriors ‘hurt’
Kevin Durant was a guest on Bill Simmons’ HBO show “Any Given Wednesday” this week. Not surprisingly, much of the discussion centered on his decision to join the Golden State Warriors.
Durant’s move obviously created a seismic shift, not only in how it created another NBA superteam, but also in perception of the superstar. Durant was called a traitor and accused of chasing an NBA title — something suggested by none other than Charles Barkley — instead of remaining loyal to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant admitted on the show that he was “hurt” by the fallout of his decision.
“Once I made the decision, I knew I had to take it on the chin,” Durant said in part, via FOX Sports. “I had to keep rolling with the punches. It upsets me. It upset me coming from, you know, people I spent time with. Obviously they were upset…”
Durant also made some interesting comments on the nature of competition from a personal perspective, differentiating his view from the likes of Michael Jordan.
“When you step in between the lines, it’s like that’s when we compete,” Durant said, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “That’s when we’re gonna go at each other, that’s when I’m gonna do what I do in my zone, and that’s when you’re gonna do what you do. But I don’t carry that with me as soon as I step off the court. I don’t care about you that much to try and wanna hate you, you hear what I mean?
“I hear all the time that Michael [Jordan] hated such and such, that Isaiah [Thomas] hated such and such. I’m not thinking about you at home when I’m on my couch, for me to hate you that much. That’s just not who I am, but when we play, I’m not even thinking about you. I’m worried about how I’m gonna dominate.”
Durant’s thoughts on competition more or less illustrate the generational difference between today’s players and those of Jordan’s era. Players like Jordan, Thomas, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the like have stated they’d never dream of creating a superteam with their rivals. In today’s NBA, it’s obvious friendships off the court can lead to partnerships on it.