Kevin Durant Offseason Thread

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
38,782

Spears cites two events in particular that may have rubbed Durant the wrong way: Fans at Oracle Arena chanting "M-V-P" for Curry and not for Durant during free throws, and a joke from general manager Bob Myers during the team's championship parade in 2018.

After Myers said Durant could have whatever contract he wanted in free agency, play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald pointed out that Myers said the same thing about Curry in 2017.
 

soxin6

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
3,029
Huntington Beach, CA
Durant and Kyrie deserve each other. If you always let the little things get to you, there is no way that you will ever be happy. In Durant's case, it was his choice to join Steph Curry's team that had already won a championship. Did he really believe the fans were just going to dump Steph for him?
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
38,782
Durant and Kyrie deserve each other. If you always let the little things get to you, there is no way that you will ever be happy. In Durant's case, it was his choice to join Steph Curry's team that had already won a championship. Did he really believe the fans were just going to dump Steph for him?
They both seem petty, but the contract one? I mean, WTF?
 

OurF'ingCity

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
3,842
New York City
It's amusing to me that the two max players on the free agent market this year with the thinnest skins both chose New York City, of all places, to team up. If the Nets don't at least make the Finals in two years when Durant is back, you are going to start hearing discussion about whether the Nets were wise to give a max contract to KD given the history of Achilles injuries, and then things will start to get interesting.
 

Dollar

Member
SoSH Member
May 5, 2006
8,050
You missed quoting the last part of the article, with Myers's comments about Durant/Curry:

After Myers said Durant could have whatever contract he wanted in free agency, play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald pointed out that Myers said the same thing about Curry in 2017.

"That was different," Myers said. "[Curry's] been here since the way before days. ... He earned it."
More here: https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/warriors-gm-jokes-that-kevin-durant-hasnt-earned-contract-like-stephen-curry-did/

video: https://twitter.com/anthonyVslater/status/1006594099879632896
 
Last edited:

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,117
In retrospect Ainge's biggest mistake may have been in not dealing Irving/Yabusele to the Nets at the start of last season for Crabbe/Dinwiddie/draft picks.
 

the moops

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 19, 2016
2,324
Saint Paul, MN
In retrospect Ainge's biggest mistake may have been in not dealing Irving/Yabusele to the Nets at the start of last season for Crabbe/Dinwiddie/draft picks.
That would have been an awful deal at that time. This team had championship aspirations and there was no reason for them to blow that up
 

nighthob

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
8,117
And yet a 2020 Brooklyn pick might look pretty good today with what we now know. ;)
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
20,214
Durant is bitter over OKC's treatment after he left. https://www.wsj.com/articles/kevin-durants-new-headspace-11568119028

Those same undertones still cause Durant to look back with bitterness on his time with Oklahoma City, where he spent eight seasons after the franchise moved there from Seattle after his rookie season in 2007-08. He said the positive relationships he had built over that time disappeared instantly after he made the decision to join the Warriors as a free agent after the 2015-16 season.

"People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood," Durant said of the time after his decision. "People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names."
Durant remains bitter because he feels that "venomous" emotion toward him, despite charitable contributions he made to the community, still lingers.

"Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena [after joining the Warriors]," Durant told the WSJ. "And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain't talking to me? I'm like, 'Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?'

"I'll never be attached to that city again because of that. I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don't trust nobody there. That s--- 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."
 

The Social Chair

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 17, 2010
3,216
He is arguably the most thin skinned athlete in all of sports. I'm sure his post injury integration into the Kyrie Nets will go really well!
 

fairlee76

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2005
3,090
jp
Not going to argue that he is not thin-skinned (he is) but any of us would be annoyed by the incidents he cites in OKC (jersey-burning at his house and for sale signs), right? We all have to be better about this stuff: fans, players, all of us. Just because we get invested in watching a grown man play a kids' game for our favorite team does not mean we should act like a cranky five-year-old when the dude decides he wants to play elsewhere.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
11,005
On one hand, I can sympathize with Durant. People writing things on his house are criminals and just because he switched teams doesn't mean that it undid any of the good things he did in the community, including donating $1 million to Tornado relief in 2013.

At the same time, I don't think you can go from working for a franchise where everyone is working together to try and win a championship and then hop ship to their direct competitor, undermining your old team's chances at winning in the process, and expect your old employees to have the same relationship with you. I think Durant has a different view than most people when it comes to the NBA, and that basketball is just a business and nothing that is ever done in it should be taken too personally, but I don't think that reflects the reality of how passionate people are about the game.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
10,807
I found it a very illuminating piece that humanized him a great deal. I get him, way more than I get, say, Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. Happy to quote bits of it for people since it's paywalled, but it ranged from the touching:

In fact, for Durant, rehab began nanoseconds after the injury. He heard the tendon pop, felt the leg turn to lead, knew exactly what lay ahead. He stayed cool, collected, even back in the locker room, surrounded by teammates and executives looking like mourners at his wake. Only when doctors started talking blood clots and other bad outcomes did Durant’s mind go “to a crazy place.”

His phone went crazy too. Calls and texts from everywhere. (Barack Obama: Speedy recovery.) Among the first was his mother, Wanda Durant, whom he immortalized as “the real MVP” in his 2014 MVP acceptance speech. She was watching the game at home in Maryland, in the house Durant bought her. She stepped out of the room for a moment, and when she came back she saw her phone fluttering. Fifteen texts?

She looked at the first. It was from a friend. It just said: Oh no.

Frantic, she rewound the game, pressed pause, put her face close to the screen, looked deep into her son’s frozen eyes, trying to see how bad it was.

It was bad.

She cried when he answered the phone. He told her it was OK, because that’s what the son of a single mother says. She said she was on her way, she’d be on a plane that night. He said no. The next day would be soon enough.

She was at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery 48 hours later, the last face he saw as they wheeled him into the operating room and one of the first he saw when he woke from the anesthesia. She then followed him to a suite at the Four Seasons, where she did all the things he couldn’t do for himself. “He was in the tub,” Wanda says, “and I was washing him, and we were talking, making sure his leg didn’t get wet and the bandage stayed dry, and he said: ‘Mom, it feels good to have you take care of me.’ And it just—”

She stops, overcome with emotion.

The moment was especially sweet because not long ago mother and son were on the outs. Wanda had been handling Durant’s financial affairs since he broke into the league, but in 2014 he decided to take control. It caused a rift, which took months, Durant says, to heal.
and at other points it helped reveal his thought process, and that he's not some rube:

This time around, shortly before the start of free agency, Kleiman met Durant for lunch at Cipriani, a chic restaurant in SoHo, and gave him one last overview of all the teams and all his options. Durant said: “All right. Well. I’m going with Brooklyn.” Just like that.

Kleiman was taken aback: For real? Yes, Durant said. End of discussion.

Durant says his decision-making process was as simple on the inside as it looked from the outside. Brooklyn was the right fit; he just knew. He didn’t even speak to the Nets before his decision, he says. He didn’t need a PowerPoint. He’s always felt big love as a visiting player at Barclays Center, he says, and he wondered what it might be like if he were on the home team. Plus, the Nets offered the opportunity to join his “best friend in the league,” Kyrie Irving.

Of course, Durant says, he was conflicted about leaving the Bay Area. “I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he says. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.… Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.”

That he stood out, stood apart from the group, felt preordained.

“As time went on,” he says, “I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there.”

He scoffs at rumors that his public disagreement with Green, in the final moments of a game last November, was determinative. (Durant scolded Green for not passing him the ball; Green then berated Durant, repeatedly calling him a bitch.) It was “a bullshit argument,” he says, “that meant nothing. Absolutely nothing. We were good before it. We were great.”

And great, he insists, after. But there was also this: From a strictly competitive, strategic standpoint, Durant had come to fear that Golden State had hit a ceiling.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off, because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.” He wanted to go someplace where he’d be free to hone that sort of improvisational game throughout the regular season.

His tenure in the Bay Area was great, he says, but because of media speculation, fan anxiety, “it didn’t feel as great as it could have been.”
...to suggestions of, maybe, some wisdom...

Though fans in Toronto roared with pleasure and glee the moment he ruptured his Achilles, he doesn’t view that behavior in the same light. On the contrary, it tickled him. Torontonians knew he was playing the best basketball of his life. “They was terrified that I was on the floor,” he says, suppressing a smile. “You could feel it the second I walked out there.”

Does this same largesse extend to Toronto’s über booster, Drake, who trash-talked the Warriors and practically ran the floor on every fast break, thus irking half a continent? It does, it does. “That’s my brother. I view him as, like, blood.” If you get upset about how Drake roots for his hometown team, he adds, “You need to reevaluate yourself.”

No, what Durant doesn’t like, what unnerves him, is when raw hatred poses as fandom. “We talk about mental health a lot. We only talk about it when it comes to players. We need to talk about it when it comes to executives, media, fans.”

...

Maybe it’s a function of his introversion. Maybe it’s his resting facial expression, which is that of a man who just found a parking ticket on his windshield. Whatever the reason, observers often think Durant is bummed, or numb, when in fact he’s just pleasantly idling in neutral. “People are always like, Are you happy? It’s like, Yo, what the f— does that meanright now?… That was the whole thing this year: Is KD happy where he is?”

Such a highly personal question, he complains. More, an unanswerable question. And whenever he tries to answer it, earnestly, honestly, no one’s satisfied, which makes them unhappy, which then makes him unhappy.

Indeed, right after he announced his deal with Brooklyn, a typical story dominated one or two news cycles. Warriors execs, behind the scenes, supposedly saying Durant wasn’t happy enough after winning two titles: Nothing’s good enough for this guy.

False, Durant says. “It’s very rare in our lives when we envision and picture something and it comes together the perfect way you envision it. [Winning a title] was the only time in my life that happened, and that summer was the most exhilarating time. Every day I woke up I just felt so good about myself, so good about life.… That was a defining moment in my life—not just my basketball life.”

...

What matters more than continuity, more than happiness, more than titles—more than anything—is the search. Durant is one of the few NBA players who speaks of the game as a vehicle for gaining wisdom.

The rapper Q-Tip recently sent Durant an old black-and-white clip of Bruce Lee, which Durant devoured. Lee put it so beautifully, telling an interviewer about the secret of martial arts. “All types of knowledge,” Lee says, “ultimately mean self-knowledge.” The more you know about martial arts, the more you know about yourself, and the more you can then express yourself with your body—especially in “combat.” On any given night he has things to express. Angry things, scary things, joyful things, about his story.

He grew up in the roughest parts of Prince George’s County, Maryland. No money, no father. Lost a cherished aunt and a coach at a tender age. Lost friends to gun violence. Survived a bare, lonely two-room apartment, just his mom and brother, and now inhabits this ridiculous American schloss. Every step of that remarkable journey has left a mark, reshaped his soul. He wants to tell you how, wants to tell the world, and he does so with his beautiful game, a sui generis hybrid of length and strength, violence and accuracy and grace.

Laurene Powell Jobs, who helped Durant establish a multimillion-dollar program in Prince George’s County to help college-bound kids ready themselves—scholastically, emotionally, financially—says Durant is “a deeply integrated individual,” which makes him rare among all people, let alone celebrities. Integrated people, she says, “keep all the knowledge of their experience and bring it to their current awareness.… They use it as a source of knowledge, of power, and want to effect change that’s informed by their experience.”
In the litany of his side interests, he strikes me as more Jaylen Brown than Lebron James, motivated more by learning than by wanting to be as big as possible.

Anyway, it's a great article, thanks for posting it.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
11,005
I found it a very illuminating piece that humanized him a great deal. I get him, way more than I get, say, Michael Jordan or Tom Brady. Happy to quote bits of it for people since it's paywalled, but it ranged from the touching:



and at other points it helped reveal his thought process, and that he's not some rube:



...to suggestions of, maybe, some wisdom...



In the litany of his side interests, he strikes me as more Jaylen Brown than Lebron James, motivated more by learning than by wanting to be as big as possible.

Anyway, it's a great article, thanks for posting it.
Signing with Brooklyn without taking a meeting or even talking with the Nets front-office just because you felt like the fans in NYC would like you and you are best friends with Kyrie Irving seems like a rube move to me, but YMMV.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
10,807
What exactly was the Nets' powerpoint presentation and "we really love you" admonitions and Brad Stevens-style "personalized video sitting in Fenway Grimaldi's" going to tell him that was important, which he didn't already know? It's not like there was ever going to be a difference in dollars between various offers, except to the extent taxes would differ.

I realize some players like to be wined-and-dined. Some like to be overwhelmed with the coach's EQ or the GM's strategic plan. Some want a crazy nightlife scene, or to be cast in movies. Durant wanted the right atmosphere and to be with a friend. Those might be the actions of someone who has their priorities straight, rather than that of a rube.

But YMMV.
 

djbayko

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
10,234
Waltham, MA
On one hand, I can sympathize with Durant. People writing things on his house are criminals and just because he switched teams doesn't mean that it undid any of the good things he did in the community, including donating $1 million to Tornado relief in 2013.

At the same time, I don't think you can go from working for a franchise where everyone is working together to try and win a championship and then hop ship to their direct competitor, undermining your old team's chances at winning in the process, and expect your old employees to have the same relationship with you. I think Durant has a different view than most people when it comes to the NBA, and that basketball is just a business and nothing that is ever done in it should be taken too personally, but I don't think that reflects the reality of how passionate people are about the game.
It's also painting everyone with the same broad brush. Was everyone in OKC spray painting his For Sale sign? More intelligent players see this stuff for what it is - the Bell curve of sports fandom which you'll find in every city. I'm sure there are a bunch of people in the Bay Area doing him dirty as well.
 
Last edited:

johnmd20

literally like ebola
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
41,706
New York City
Durant continually comes off like a thin skinned child. I guess you can commend him for being honest but the woe is me act is tired.
 

lovegtm

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2013
5,761
Kiev, Ukraine
Durant continually comes off like a thin skinned child. I guess you can commend him for being honest but the woe is me act is tired.
Yeah, I’m more on this side. I’m glad he can express his feelings, and it’s nice he can go play with his best friend.

But it’s a bit tiring for the rest of us to hear every step spun as a struggle. You got drafted by an organization and had some success. You left there for a better situation, with predictable blowback. You then left there to play with your friend. All while becoming generationally wealthy and giving back to the community.

Congrats buddy, that all sounds great. No need to make it a big psychodrama.
 

Sprowl

mikey lowell of the sandbox
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
31,925
Haiku
Durant continually comes off like a thin skinned child. I guess you can commend him for being honest but the woe is me act is tired.
Kevin and Kyrie against the world -- sooner or later it turns to Kevin against Kyrie.