OAKLAND -- Asked about his immediate reaction to a report Wednesday night indicating LeBron James, upon becoming a free agent, would take a meeting with the Warriors, Kevin Durant was quick, brief and blunt.
“Bull----,” he said Thursday after practice.
Durant was not alone among the Warriors with such response to an ESPN report citing unnamed sources claiming James, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent in July.
“He’s got to get No. 23 from Draymond,” David West said before exiting the interview area.
“In 14 years in this league, I’ve seen it all,” Shaun Livingston said. “Nothing really surprises me anymore. This is out of left field. Out of left field. But, hey, it’s exciting for the NBA. I’m sure they like it.”
General manager Bob Myers began his interview session with a statement reminding everyone that he’s forbidden to discuss players on other teams without being reprimanded by the league.
There are numerous reasons why James won’t be joining the Warriors, one being that they treasure their current chemistry and balance, and another being they would have to dismantle most of their current roster to fit the massive salary commanded by James.
Coach Steve Kerr seemed simultaneously amused and indifferent to the notion.
“Are you really going to ask that?” he said. “Do you want me to get my checkbook out? I can just make it out to Adam Silver or to the NBA? You know that’s illegal? I’m not answering that.”
Yet the idea of James’ representatives bringing the Warriors as a possible destination was enough to have tongues wagging all around the league Thursday. It was a topic of conversation at the pre-practice breakfast table shared by general manager Bob Myers, Stephen Curry, Durant and Kerr.
“That’s the nature of the game right now,” Durant said. “It’s more so about free agency, the business side of basketball, than it is about the real games. Nothing is far-fetched when it comes to stories and headlines and clicks.”
In Durant’s mind, the idea of a story reporting James’ interest in the Warriors is yet another sign of the rampant insanity that invades the NBA/media landscape.
As Durant was being interviewed, two TV camera operators jostling for position got into a brief skirmish during which one told the other, ‘I will knock you the (expletive) out, right here' before peace was restored.
“See, look, like, what are we doing,” Durant said, grinning while pointing toward the belligerence. “What are we doing? What are we doing? What’s going on here, really?
“We’re talking about basketball. That should be the most important thing.”