Kevin Durant said he hates the “circus” surrounding the NBA as he opened up on his respective exits from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.
Durant ended a three-season stint with the Warriors at the end of the last campaign, switching to the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent on a four-year deal.
The 30-year-old, a 10-time All-Star, joined Golden State from the Thunder, where he spent nine campaigns – including one as a rookie at the Seattle SuperSonics before the franchise’s move to Oklahoma – going on to win the championship with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.
However, Durant believes the media speculation and fan furore around the NBA made his decision to leave the Warriors more acrimonious than it needed to be.
“It didn’t feel as great as it could have been,” Durant told the Wall Street Journal. “Some days I hate the circus of the NBA. Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game.
“Sometimes I don’t like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.
“We talk about mental health a lot… we only talk about it when it comes to players. We need to talk about it when it comes to executives, media, fans.”
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) September 9, 2019
Durant believes a similar uproar surrounded his move to the Warriors in 2016, claiming he does not trust the Thunder’s hierarchy.
“I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” Durant said of Oklahoma City.
“I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organisation, but I don’t trust nobody there.
“The organisation, the [general manager], I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.
“People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for-sale signs around my neighbourhood. People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”
Durant also explained that he left Golden State because he could not relate to many of his team-mates.
“As time went on, I started to realise I’m just different from the rest of the guys,” Durant said.
“It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could [fully accept] me there.”