Warriors

Durant to the media: 'Going to say how I feel from now on'

Durant to the media: 'Going to say how I feel from now on'

OAKLAND – Kevin Durant on Tuesday unveiled plans to embrace the kind of unambiguous candor that surely will reveal more of his true self.

Durant didn’t exactly put it that way, but in the wake of comments he made Monday night that he feels were magnified by media, the Warriors forward was clear in saying he no longer will sidestep issues that he perceives as sensitive or might be misconstrued.

“Man, whatever I say is going to be twisted up,” he said after going through a 90-minute practice. “So I can’t . . . I’m just going to say how I feel from now on. People that know me know what I mean, so it is what it is. Anything I say will be twisted up and be a headline. So it is what it is.”

The key phrase here is this: “I’m just going to say how I feel from now on.”

The interpretation is that Durant in the past generally had, out of discretion or propriety or personal etiquette, taken measures to avoid sheer honesty.

And maybe he had. Durant for most of his career has been portrayed by friends and associates as someone sensitive to his image as well as that of those close to him. They say he’s a quality individual who occasionally is susceptible to saying the safe thing to avoid further probing or scrutiny.

Durant’s new-leaf statement came less than 18 hours after he confirmed that his summertime decision to sign with the Warriors was influenced by their loss in the NBA Finals. In short, watching the Warriors lose the Finals made the idea of joining them even more attractive than it already was.

The news was that Durant finally admitted what a long-suspected element in his decision. The general belief was that it would have been more difficult to leave a contending team in Oklahoma City to join a team that had won back-to-back NBA championships.

A team that reached The Finals by beating Durant’s Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

A team that won an NBA-record 73 games in the preceding regular season.

How on earth could Kevin Durant, as magnificent as he is, obtain professional profit by joining the unquestioned best team on earth?

By losing to the Cavaliers in The Finals, the Warriors proved to be flawed. They needed . . . something. They were missing . . . something. They were good, mighty good, but they also were defeated, thereby becoming the first team in NBA history to give back a 3-1 lead in The Finals.

Durant had a full two weeks, from Game 7 on the evening of June 19 until he chose the Warriors on the morning of July 4, to absorb it all. He could review his Thunder career, ponder the past and present and the future. He could examine and research the Warriors, what he liked and did not like, and visualize his potential effect.

So there was Durant on Monday night, sitting with Warriors CEO Joe Lacob, general manager Bob Myers and teammate Andre Iguodala at a ceremony in which the Warriors received the ENCORE award by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The questions were coming, and they were answering.

On the subject of what he would done if the Warriors had won The Finals, Durant didn’t answer that directly but gave a response to the facts that shot straighter and more extensively than he has at any time since he was introduced by his new team on July 7.

"As they lost, it became more and more real every day," Durant recalled. "You start to think about it even more. To see if I would fit. Then, once I sat down with these guys, everything that I wanted to know about them, they kind of showed me. But we don't have to talk about (what would have happened if the Warriors won The Finals), because they didn't get the job done, and they came after me.

"I guess you could say I'm glad that they lost."

Glad because it made his decision easier. Durant knew he then was positioned to make a difference, to get a team back to the top rather than help it stay there. Such circumstances produced a bigger, juicier carrot.

And now that he has made the jump, Durant knows the microscope will stalk him every hour. He is vowing there will be no smokescreens. Can he stick by this new commitment to gospel truth? Can he consistently express and say what he truly feels?

Let’s hope so, for a more candid Durant would eliminate the need to guess.

NBA rumors: Warriors could start season as late as March if fans allowed

NBA rumors: Warriors could start season as late as March if fans allowed

The Warriors last played on March 10, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers 131-107 at Chase Center a day before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus.

It reportedly could be as long as a year before they get back in the win column.

While the NBA still is targeting a Dec. 1 start date for the 2020-21 season, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday morning that the league could push back the beginning of next season if there was "a level of confidence that a delay would ultimately result in the reopening of arenas to the public." Wojnarowski reported that opening the season on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18), and potentially as late as February or March, provided "a combination of vaccines, therapeutics and rapid-response-testing" reach a point where public gatherings are possible.

Allowing fans in stadiums and arenas falls under Phase 4 of San Francisco and California's reopening plans. Neither the city nor the state has cleared Phase 2. San Francisco remains on California's watchlist, and the state became the first in the country to have over 500,000 positive tests just under three weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled back plans to reopen California's economy.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The NBA could hold games in practice facilities if the season starts in December, and potentially neutral-site games if some cities allow fans to attend games. Wojnarowski reported that teams playing in cities that don't allow fans in the stands could even move their operations to other cities that do.

Since the NBA first suspended its season, nearly 5 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 160,000 have died. Public-health experts and officials are concerned about the coronavirus' spread worsening in the fall as students return to schools, the weather gets colder and more people spend more time indoors and some cities and states continue not to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said earlier this week the country must decrease its daily case count to 10,000 by September in order to control the coronavirus' spread. The United States had over 60,000 new cases on Friday.

"If we don't get them down, then we're going to have a really bad situation in the fall," Fauci said.

Wojnarowski reported that the NBA, as a result, is considering regional bubbles for next seasons. In one idea Wojnarwoski mentioned, teams would play in a bubble for a month, return to their own cities for up to two weeks and then move to a new bubble with a different group of teams.

[RELATED: Warriors in Orlando bubble reportedly a 'non-starter' for NBPA]

If the NBA's priority becomes a reality, the Warriors would've gone 266 days between regular-season games.

The wait to play again in front of their fans will be much longer than that, and the league seems to be bracing for that likelihood.

NBA rumors: NBPA doesn't want Warriors, non-bubble teams in Orlando

NBA rumors: NBPA doesn't want Warriors, non-bubble teams in Orlando

Here's hoping the Warriors didn't already pack their bags for Walt Disney World.

Following reports that the NBA was exploring the possibility of sending Golden State and the seven other teams that didn't participate in the NBA restart to the Orlando bubble, the National Basketball Players Association reportedly has "no interest" in the possibility.

"It's a non-starter," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday morning. "The inevitable solution for the eight teams left out of Orlando: The NBA and NBPA agreeing upon voluntary workouts in the team facilities, sources said."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Athletic's Sam Amick reported Friday that the NBA was looking into sending the Warriors and the seven other non-bubble teams to Orlando to hold practices and workouts at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex once the six teams eliminated from the restarted season left the campus. Amick and Shams Charania reported earlier this week that there was a "growing belief" that a second bubble outside of Orlando wouldn't happen due to the logistical hurdles imposed by the continued spread of the coronavirus within the United States.

The NBPA's hesitancy shouldn't be too much of a surprise if recent comments from one of the Warriors' biggest names are any indication.

Warriors star Draymond Green wasn't enthused about the possibility of a second bubble during an interview on "The Steam Room Podcast" earlier this week. Kenny Smith asked Green on Friday during a guest appearance on "Inside The NBA" if he would play in a secondary bubble, and the 30-year-old's response was begrudging at best.

"I'm gonna go to work," Green said, pausing. "I don't know if I'm going to play. I'm going to work."

[RELATED: How Iguodala's contract exemplifies Warriors' turnaround]

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said the team would be "good partners" and follow the NBA's lead, but coach Steve Kerr likely is a fan of the possibility of in-market workouts that Wojnarowski reported. Kerr said in June that Golden State would be "more interested in practice time" rather than participating in something resembling the NBA's Summer League.

The coach fully expected Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to be on board with a minicamp at Chase Center, too.

"Given that we would be staring at a nine-month break, I would be shocked if any one of those three guys said to me, 'No, I don't want the work,' " Kerr said in June, referring to the possibility of the 2020-21 season starting in December. "They all know they need the work and we all need the work."