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Warriors’ Kevin Durant has learned from his last free agency

A younger Kevin Durant once saw himself retracing his steps and double-guessing his decision to join the Golden State Warriors after nine long seasons with one franchise, but a more-seasoned now-Finals MVP has learned from his experience, more comfortable handling free agency a second time around.

Durant recalled his experience and how tough of a decision it was. Even tougher was the backlash he faced from media, former teammates and pundits who questioned his reasoning for joining a championship-caliber team.

“I wouldn’t say I felt pressure. I just felt I had to do that for myself. Nobody was telling me I needed to do anything. I just felt like I needed to do that. And it was hard,” Durant told Michael Lee of The Athletic. “It was all genuine. It was good-hearted. But sometimes, you can go overboard with that stuff. You can run it back, chill, a little bit. Scale it back a little bit.

“But I felt like everything I did was out of good spirit, good-natured. I definitely learned from every experience. Every experience I’ve been through has made me a better player, a better person.”

This time around, Kevin Durant has looked to the very blueprint laid before him, knowing what to expect should he choose to leave not only through his own experiences, but through others’.

“You seen the coverage around LeBron’s free agency and I knew that that type of attention would come and playing in a small market where nobody [outside of Oklahoma City] really came to see us, unless it was a huge game, it’s a lot to take in,” said Durant. “I feel like I learned from that situation. Back then, I didn’t let it bleed onto the basketball court. I just didn’t know what was coming.

“Now I have a good idea of what’s coming from fans, from media, just people who love free agency. That’s the thing now, that’s a part of the game. People love just that side.”

Durant has remained noncommittal to remain with the Warriors, but many around the organization believe a departure is possible with so little left to achieve if Golden State can win three straight to end his tenure with the organization.