Things went well for Kevin Durant during his three seasons with the Golden State Warriors as he won two titles – along with two Finals MVP awards – and probably would have won three of each had he not been injured throughout June’s Finals match-up with the Toronto Raptors. However, despite his on-court successes, Durant never felt as though he fully fit in with the Warriors, and that fact played a role in his decision to depart this summer.
“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” Durant said in an interview the Wall Street Journal. “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.
“As time went on, 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.”
There were also on-court reasons for Durant’s departure from Golden State, including the fact that he felt the team’s offense was limited, especially in the latter rounds of the playoffs.
“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” Durant said. “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.”
As far as his first franchise, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant still holds a grudge against the city and organization for how they treated him after he decided to sign with the Warriors in free agency in 2016.
“I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” Durant said. “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 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.”
Through his first 12 seasons in the league, Durant has experienced a plethora of individual and team success, and has established himself as one of the best – and most unique – players that the league has ever seen. However, he’s clearly still searching for contentment. Perhaps he will finally find it in Brooklyn.