Kevin Durant is shedding his nice-guy image at a rate approaching the speed of sound.
On the court, he’s had unfriendly things to say to fellow stars in Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, and off of it, he recently let loose on the media for being overly critical of the Oklahoma City franchise.
“You guys really don’t know (expletive),” Durant told reporters in his final interview session before Sunday’s All-Star Game.
Durant was later asked what stories he would like the media to focus on more.
“To be honest, man, I’m only here talking to y’all because I have to,” Durant said. “So I really don’t care. Y’all not my friends. You’re going to write what you want to write. You’re going to love us one day and hate us the next. That’s a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y’all.”
At his first availability since then after the Thunder practiced on Wednesday, Durant didn’t exactly apologize. But it was clear he was regretful of coming across so harshly.
From Royce Young of ESPN.com:
“I had a moment,” Durant said. “Everybody in life has moments. You had one for sure before, but it’s not broadcasted like mine. I was more so trying to take up for my teammates, my coach and other guys in the league that gets scrutinized and I don’t like. Maybe I should shut up about it. I had one moment. What made me more mad than anything I was told I bite the hand that feeds me. I don’t know what that means. I really don’t know what that means. I wish someone would explain it to me. But I don’t remember none of you guys being there when I was 8 years old and putting in that work, the nights when I’m in here putting in that work in. So I don’t really understand what that one means. But, hey, I gotta roll with it. That’s a part of it. I was told I shouldn’t cry ’cause everybody been through it. So I’m going to shut up.” …
“It’s more so just an attack on our team and our players and our coach and all that stuff,” Durant said. “It’s not going to fly with me. I really don’t like it. I’m not going to sit here and agree with you when you’re trying to bash my coach or one of my teammates or anything. That’s just who I am as a person. Like I said, we had a great relationship. We still have a great relationship, myself and the media. I had a moment. I hope we can get past it. But I’m sure everybody has those types of moments.”
“I’ll try to work on just being honest with you guys but at the same time being more respectable. I made a mistake.”
Durant doesn’t owe the media any apologies, and in this age of maximum exposure and instant feedback being available through multiple social media channels, more and more fans are siding with the players in these types of situations.
But on the flip side, fans of Kevin Durant want to hear what he has to say after a great performance, and the media is there precisely to provide that information. A professional relationship needs to exist to make that happen, and while Durant may not like dealing with that portion of his responsibilities, it’s clear by his most recent remarks that he realizes its overall importance.