Kevin Durant had earned the right to choose where he wanted to play in the NBA. He had honored his contract with Oklahoma City, he was a free agent.
He chose Golden State — a move that has come with a lot of criticism in some corners. Durant has been called “weak,” “traitor,” and a “coward.”
When asked about that at his introductory press conference with the Warriors Thursday, Durant didn’t exactly shrug. But it was close. You can see some of the answers above, but here is what he said about feeling guilty about the backlash and if he has felt guilty.
“No. We live in this superhero, comic book world, where you’re either a villain or you’re a superhero in this position, and I know that,” Durant said. “I know I haven’t changed as a person. I don’t treat people any different because I made a decision to play basketball in another city.
“I understand the fans in Oklahoma City, and basketball fans around the world, are I guess upset. But like I said, I made a decision based upon what I wanted to do and how I felt. And it’s the best decision for me. I can’t really control how you feel. I’m sorry you feel that way. But I’m gonna continue to live my life, man. Life goes on.”
Durant also said that the hardest thing he had to do was call Sam Presti and Thunder management to say he was leaving, something that brought him to tears. But Durant said it was something he had to do.
He knew this reaction would come. He also saw what happened to LeBron James when he went to Miami — a couple of titles later, a lot of that backlash went away. This is America, where sports fans put an inordinate amount of importance in “rings” and Durant just made the move most likely to get him a few.