The unspoken saga of Kevin Durant‘s relationship with his teammates in Oklahoma City has been unraveling even more this week as the Golden State Warriors breezed past the Thunder 122-96 on Thursday night.
Durant has been largely villainized during the offseason for his departure from OKC, opting to sign with recent Western Conference nemesis, Golden State.
The 2014 MVP has been politically correct when answering questions about his former running mate Russell Westbrook, the Thunder organization, and Oklahoma City since becoming a Warrior. But he revealed that his kindness with the media and former teammates hasn’t been rewarded.
“One thing I was doing too much of was I was trying to be delicate with everyone’s feelings, especially the fan base in OKC, and my former teammates,” Durant told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “I had to realize that they don’t care. They’re going to dissect what they’re going to dissect. I was trying to be really considerate of their feelings and everything.”
Durant’s frustration was let out with an infernal scoring punch during the first half, torching the Thunder for 29 points, including a red-hot 6-of-8 from deep. He finished the night with 39 points in a game that was buried by the end of the third quarter.
“I don’t want to say that any part of the game was strange,” Durant said. “I moved on. I’m part of the Golden State Warriors. I’m excited to be part of the team. What I did those last eight years was special and something I’m never going to forget.”
Durant explained that any emotions he had were out of his mind and heart before the game tipped off.
“But I’m trying to look forward,” he said. “I try to separate those emotions and feelings and do my job.”
Perhaps the best perspective in the whole soap opera has been from an outsider, Hasheem Thabeet, who played with the Thunder for the better part of two seasons from 2012-14. Spears asked him why the two teammates had not resolved their divorce — Thabeet was right on the money.
“It’s because of the outsiders,” Thabeet said. “Mostly, it’s the outsiders. It’s almost like everything Russell does is a shot at Kevin. It’s not even like that. Those guys actually have their lives. I talk to Russell. Russell’s my guy. He’s married. He’s happy. He’s living his life.”
“At the end of the day, these outsiders will fade. Somebody is going to win this year, and they are going to forget about this moment. It’s part of sports, I guess.”