Sound and fury has enveloped Kevin Durant for over a week, after a confrontation with Warriors teammate Draymond Green raised eyebrows, questions and ire.
Most frustrating to Durant is this drama was created by something didn’t do. Green reportedly delivered the hurtful line -- “We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave.” -- last Monday, and Durant merely received it, along with a ton of flak.
“My whole thing is I didn’t create any of this,” Durant told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes in a 1-on-1 interview Tuesday. “That’s just my whole thing. I was just playing basketball. Now, I got to answer questions, now I got to talk about this, now I got to feel a way when I was in a great zone playing basketball. …
“Now, it’s always going to come back. Like, ‘Are they all right? Man, he didn’t play well. Is he going to leave?’ Why do I even have to think about that at this point? … Then it turned into, ‘K.D.’s going to this place, he doesn’t like the Warriors no more. He should go here, he should go there.’ More distractions.”
Of course, Durant could stop those distractions by telling everyone he’s staying with the Warriors past this season. That won’t happen, though, with so much money and prestige at stake.
So, KD will be left to answer the media’s questions about the future and his perceived fit, particularly with the Warriors slumping by their lofty championship standards.
That became evident the day after the incident, with the Atlanta Hawks visiting Oracle Arena. As the game played out, all the talk centered on how Durant would look on the floor with teammates who might have been irritated by the whole ordeal.
Turns out he was thinking about things, too.
“During the game, I’m like, ‘Ah, [expletive], I’m probably going to have to say something about this,’ “ Durant told Haynes. “Why do I have to think about that during the basketball game? And that’s a fight I had to have, focusing on just playing. …
“And that’s what I tend to focus on, but you’ve got so much B.S. that’s being thrown your way that I didn’t create. If I created all of this stuff, then I couldn’t be out here talking like this, but I didn’t create any of this. I’m just out here playing.”
He’s out there playing, but it’s not at his best level. He shot 24 of 64 from the field and just 1 of 13 on 3-pointers during the Warriors’ winless Texas road trip that started with him shutting down a reporter who asked about his relationship with Green. Durant returned home to work with Hall of Famer Steve Nash on his wayward shot, then discovered he’d been fined $25,000 by the NBA for his outburst toward a heckler in Dallas.
KD and Co. are in one of the roughest of patches. The only way out is to win.