Kevin Durant agreed to give a one-on-one interview with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report this week to explain what happened over the summer between himself and the Brooklyn Nets. The article dropped one day after the Nets gave up 153 points in regulation to the Sacramento Kings and lost by 32. While Durant was insistent throughout the article that he's just happy to be playing basketball, he still doesn't sound super pleased with the position he's in.
To start, Durant initially demanded a trade because he didn't want to be in a position where everyone blamed him for losing when it was the whole team coming up short. Which is... not how any of this works? The superstar is always going to get the blame. Fair or not, that's what the deal is. Durant wouldn't have escaped that pressure somewhere else.
"I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me. Jacque Vaughn is. I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these [expletive] are full of s--t. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s--t, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade."
Later in the piece he attempted to channel the spirit of Ricky Bobby and said no offense but the other guys suck.
“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group? Durant asked of B/R. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.
Immediately after that quote he insisted he's still having a good time out there because he loves basketball more than anything.
"I’m really having a good time. I wish y'all could hear me talk during the game. If I got mic’d up more, people would stop asking me if I'm happy or not. I'm enjoying every moment I get to step on this f--king court, and part of it is because I tore my Achilles. And the pandemic, I didn’t know if we were going to play again. I didn't know if I was going to play again.
That is definitely beleviable. Say what you want about Kevin Durant but the one thing he's been consistent about over the course of his career is his pure, unadulterated love of the game.
Everything else reads really weird! He wanted to get traded because Steve Nash wasn't running good practices and therefore forced the burden of victory upon Durant? That burden is always going to rest heaviest on the shoulders of the team's best players. And his quote about his teammates is really bizarre. For a guy who hates it when media stirs the pot, he's doing a lot of work for those same media members. He is basically saying he's the only reason his team has a chance every night because the guys next to him are bums.
Doesn't sound like a happy superstar to me.