Kevin Durant spent nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder before deciding to team up with the rival Golden State Warriors. The decision for Durant to leave and join the team that bounced him out of the playoffs was shocking, and he got many fans of the team upset, leading to a treatment reminiscent of LeBron James back in 2010.
The organization, however, hasn’t had anything bad to say about Durant’s departure, but KD acknowledged something that seems very apparent. The former MVP came out and said to reporters in China how the relationship between him and Russell Westbrook has changed, “obviously, our relationship won’t ever be the same again. But it’s something that I wanted to do, and I expressed that to him. Hopefully he respected it.”
What the Warriors have done this offseason is something that the league has seldom seen before. Superteams have been constructed in the past, most recently when James decided to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh down in Miami. This Warriors team, however, aggregated four All-Star players on one roster. And doing so has turned them into the villain of the NBA; it even led to Adam Silver saying it’s not good for the league. All of this attention, whether good or bad, is something that Durant isn’t accustomed to from spending so much time in a small market.
Yeah, it’s difficult. I’m not used to this much attention, but I’m getting used to it. Obviously, people don’t like me right now, but it is what it is. I can’t please them all. I’ve got to still go out there and handle my business. They’re not going to get up at 9 o’clock in the morning and work on their game for me. I’ve got to do all of that on my own. I can’t worry about people on the outside. I’ve got to go to sleep at night, I’ve got to get up and I’ve got to perform. I’ve got to do all that stuff. It is what it is. Once we start playing the games, I’ll feel a little bit more better. Right now, it’s definitely a change. There’s a different vibe going around, but I’ll get used to it.
The main reason behind KD’s decision was Oklahoma City’s inability to win a championship, and the on-court dynamic between him and Westbrook might be to blame.
After winning 73 games last season, the bar for the Warriors was already going to be set super-high for next season. Now that Durant is in town, the expectations increase even more since there are — arguably — four superstar caliber players on their roster.