Kevin Durant Dishes On Perception, Return Trip To OKC
OKLAHOMA CITY - Kevin Durant unloaded on his public perception, his time in Oklahoma City and the the things that still bother him in a long interview with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher.
Here are some of the notable observations from the interview, which can be found here: Bleacher Report Kevin Durant Interview
His relationship with Russell Westbrook has not been mended.
"Those people really mean a lot to me to this day. No matter if they talk to me or they're mad at me. Whether it's Sam Presti or Troy Weaver or Russell Westbrook or Nick Collison. Whether it's Wilson Taylor or Clay Bennett and his family, I love them from the bottom of my heart. We're not talking, but eventually we will.”
Durant was pretty mad when the Thunder gave his No. 35 to two-way player P.J. Dozier.
“I didn't have (perspective) when they gave my number away. I was, 'F--k all of them.' My best friend works for the team, I told him, 'F--k all y'all. That's f----d up.' Then I had to get out of my head, tell myself, 'It's not that serious, it is what it is.' I understand it's not my number anymore, they can do whatever they want with it, but you hand that number to a two-way player, you've got to be, like, 'Nah, we've got too many good memories with this number, man.' But at some point, that thing's going to be in the rafters anyway; it's all good.”
He still remembers the infamous ‘Mr. Unreliable’ headline.
“Criticism is not, '_____, you moved to _____, you're a b---h, a coward.' That's not criticism. Criticism is calling me Mr. Unreliable and bouncing back the next night."
Still, KD has good things to say about OKC and the city and organization’s influence on him.
“Me and my family didn't just erase those eight years in OKC. D.C. and OKC is where we grew up—my mom, my brother, me. I am OKC. I'm still OKC. That blue is going to be in my blood forever. That place raised me.”
And, he says he’s beginning to understand why Thunder fans reacted the way they did when he left.
“My mom had to tell me, 'These people really loved you so much there.' And I was like, 'Nah, Ma, they don't love me if they can cut me that quick or tell me I'm such a coward or be so happy when someone calls me a cupcake.' I don't know if that's love. But fandom is another level of love. It's irrational, stalker-ish love."
Finally, he stresses that the championship he won with Golden State hasn’t changed him.
"I've always been a champion," he says. "A champion is your approach to your craft every day. It's coming in and you want to get better, that's what champions do. I think people get that confused. Just because you're holding up a trophy doesn't make you a champion.”
Durant and the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 22.