Kevin Durant, one of the NBA’s best – and most polarizing – players has spoken about his ambivalent feelings towards the league.
The 30-year-old left the Golden State Warriors this summer after his attempts to lead them to a third successive NBA title ended in a ruptured achilles that is likely to see him sidelined for the entirety of the new season. But it is the end of his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder that was most on his mind in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday.
Durant spent most of his career with the Thunder, and was voted the NBA’s MVP there in 2014. He was also active in the community and with charitable organizations in Oklahoma City, something that made him incredibly popular. However, he says he was shocked by the vitriol when he left for the Warriors in 2016.
“People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood,” Durant told the Journal. “People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”
He also says he was frozen out by Thunder staff members after leaving the team. “I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there,” he said. “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.”
Durant, who won two NBA titles with the Warriors, said he still loves playing basketball, but finds the “circus” around the league wearing. “Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.”
Durant’s next destination in New York: he signed a four-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets this summer, and will team up with fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving.