Kevin Durant speaks out on choosing Warriors
LAS VEGAS — When Kevin Durant was in the Hamptons over the Fourth of July weekend deciding what to do with the next stage of his basketball career, he knew there would be plenty of fallout no matter which course he chose.
He was so cognizant of that, in fact, that he said for the two days following his decision, he didn’t go outside.
“The two days after, I didn’t leave my bed because if I walk outside somebody might try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me,” Durant said with a laugh after the first day of Team USA practice on the UNLV campus on Monday afternoon. “I thought people would react to me a little differently. Like I said before, I never had this much attention, and so many people who probably don’t even watch basketball walked up to me and said congratulations, good luck going forward. It’s crazy how big our game has gotten, and the reach it has is amazing.
“I just stayed in and tried to process it all. I wanted to be around family and positive support. It felt different, obviously. I had been somewhere for so long and made a change no one saw coming and didn’t think I would do, of course I didn’t know how it would be received afterward.
“But at some point I said, ‘Life goes on, and I can’t hide forever,’ so I had to face it.”
Monday served as the first opportunity for Durant to do so since his initial press conference as a Golden State Warrior a few days after his decision was made. Not surprisingly, he was surrounded by a horde of reporters who asked him about a whole series of things:
What did he think of Tom Brady being at the Celtics meeting?
Why didn’t he meet with the Lakers?
How did he like the Hamptons?
Is anyone giving him a hard time about his decision within Team USA?
But the most interesting answers circled back to Durant’s decision itself, and his thought process both heading into it and as he came out of it — specifically, how he considered the potential fallout of not just leaving Oklahoma City, but leaving Oklahoma City to go play with a star-studded Warriors team.
“I thought about it, but in life when you make decisions based on everyone else, I think it’s the wrong decision,” he said. “I can’t make a decision on my life because everyone will be upset about it.
“I told myself to put myself first, and this is what I really wanted, so we’ll see what happens.”
Durant was also beset with questions regarding criticisms of his decision from Hall of Famers Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley.
“It’s a bad look for the league once again,” Miller wrote in an article for Bleacher Report. “Between the huge signings of mediocre players and now KD defecting to the Warriors, there are really only five or six teams you are interested in watching — and only three of those have a real shot to win the championship. It’s going to be a boring season unless the Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks or Boston Celtics are on TNT or ESPN every week.