Kevin Durant—the Warriors newest addition and former (future?) MVP—has come under some serious fire since deciding to join forces with Stephen Curry and the rest of the crew in the Bay. People have speculated that he left Oklahoma City in part because of a growing frustration with fellow All Star and MVP candidate Russell Westbrook, with whom he played alongside since 2008. Recently, Westbrook inked an extension that will keep him in OKC through at least the end of the 2017-2018 season, when he’ll have a player option to reconsider his stance.
As soon as news of the extension broke, Durant was (of course) grilled about his position on the matter. He took the high road, congratulating his former running mate on the new extension, wishing everyone in the league the best.
(All quotes transcribed via Yahoo’s The Vertical)
“I’m happy to see any player in this league do whatever they want to do. As long as he wasn’t pressured to do anything and felt like he did everything he wanted to do. And that’s how I feel about every player in this league. It’s good for him, man. It’s good for his family. It’s good for the people in Oklahoma City that love to watch him play and love to have him on their team.
“I got nothing but positive energy and vibes for everybody. I don’t have no beef with anybody or wish no ill will on anybody. So if he did what he wanted to do, that’s better. That’s great for him.”
Honestly, the act of putting words in Durant’s mouth or ideas in his head—the game of pitting him against Westbrook and against OKC—has become tiresome. Kevin did what he did because that’s where he thought his greatest chance for immortality and basketball success lay. He didn’t leave OKC to spite their fans, and he definitely didn’t do it to spite Westbrook. The Warriors gave him a second option and he took it, for the betterment of himself and his family.
Asked about when, if ever, Durant will sit down with Russell and discuss their divorce, Durant was hesitant.
“That’s a touchy deal. I don’t know. It’s easy for someone else to tell me what I should do, but you guys don’t know how that whole thing [went down]. I don’t know, man. I’ll see after this is over and once everything dies down. Like I said before, at some point we’ll sit down and talk. But I don’t know when.”
Russell is a proud dude and a ferocious competitor. Next season, all eyes will be on him as he once and for all takes on the mantle of “best player on his own team.” He’s a transcendent, stupefying talent. Seeing him go balls out next year will be something to behold—a wonder along the lines of seeing “Wizard of Oz” in color for the first time ever. Minds will be blown. The yellow brick road will be laid, shot by shot. Munchkins will dance and the Wicked Witch of the West (Warriors? Oh god, I hope not) will be challenged.
Via @teamziller This third part is the most interesting part of the Russ re-signs dynamic https://t.co/tRuTiHyHcg pic.twitter.com/iAR5HXLOIA— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) August 4, 2016
I’m thinking, a lot of this:
Lastly, Durant addressed the long, strange summer he’s had so far, and how he’s still answering questions about his earth-shattering decision to join the Warriors.
“I waited all summer to get what I wanted to say off my chest. Now, it felt like saying it a few weeks ago, how everything went down – I’m still answering those questions now. It makes it a little easier going into the season, even though it’s going to ramp up once the season starts. Getting my voice out and letting people know how I feel – either way, they probably don’t care – but just getting it out, I think, it’s been a little easier.”
Man, these Warriors vs. Thunder matchups are going to be FIIIIIIIERCE!!