With Kevin Durant’s free agency decision looming, the Warriors star opened up about his time with the Warriors and explained he gave up a lot to play with the defending back-to-back champions.
“I’m from Washington, D.C. I went to Oklahoma City for eight years. Out of nowhere, I went to the Bay for three years,” Durant told The Athletic. “I’ve been roaming my whole life. I never had no stable environment. Ever. Ever. Since I woke up. I sacrificed a lot of s— to be here and to change my game up to be with these guys. And it was worth it.”
Durant said that his experience in Oakland has been rewarding, despite the negative attention from the media and fans that comes with the job.
“I came here knowing for a fact, that every media member, every fan was going to call me every name in the book for however long I was here and I was going to take the brunt of everything. I knew coming here,” Durant said. “But I wanted to be a part of this so bad, I didn’t give a f— . Same with LeBron. He took all of that heat, no matter what.
“I enjoy the way they played basketball. I never played with shooters like that. That moved. That were versatile players. I wanted to be a part of that,” Durant added. “My game was talking to me. Not that other s—. The spirit of the game was talking to me. Not the spotlight or the fame that comes from being the best player. Not the legacy. I swear on my life, that don’t mean nothing to me. How I build myself up in this NBA life, it doesn’t mean anything to me. I just want to play great basketball every second I’m on the court, and that was a perfect opportunity for me to do so.”
As for the comparisons – Durant doesn’t buy into them. Instead, he’s working on crafting his own game and he’s focused on winning rather than becoming the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
“Comparison is a need for joy,” Durant said. “It takes a long time for you to realize that as an NBA player, especially when you’ve been pumped up, as soon as you come into it, you’re promoted a star. You always want to compare yourself to the next guy or the guy that did it before, the MJs, the Kobes, the LeBrons, to rookies. I want to compare myself to my teammates. When you compare yourself at all times to see what guys are doing, you’re taking away from the focus of trying to make yourself the greatest that you can be.”
Durant came to the Warriors after eight seasons with the Thunder. He signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract with a player option during the 2016 offseason. He played an integral role in helping Golden State win the title the past two seasons and leading the Warriors to a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs this year. He has averaged 25.8 points with 5.4 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game in three seasons with Golden State.