Steve Kerr: ‘Absurd’ to view Kevin Durant as villain, he just wanted ‘new challenge’

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Draymond Green is embracing the Warriors-as-villains narrative.

But Kevin Durant doesn’t sound as open to it, and Steve Kerr is defending his newest star.

Kerr on ESPN Radio, as transcribed by CSN Bay Area:

“To think of Kevin Durant or Steph Curry or any of our guys as a villain, is kind of absurd. But especially Kevin. This is one of the most likable people in the league. He’s been obviously a great player, but he’s just an awesome human being and what he did in Oklahoma City is just amazing for that community,” Kerr told Michelle Beadle and Ramona Shelburne on their TMi show.

“Circumstances sort of dictate, I guess, that some people are going to view him as a villain. But it’s only because he decided to go elsewhere to play because he wanted a change of scenery, wanted a new challenge. More than anything, he wanted to play with our guys. He loves Draymond and Steph and Klay and Andre. He loved seeing those guys in New York. He loved seeing the chemistry that exists and I think he really wanted to be a part of it.”

Kerr is right that hatred for Durant is disconnected from the quality of his humanity or ability on the court. Many view professional athletes as characters in an elaborate plot, so in that sense, it’s easy to loathe Durant for nothing more than switching team.

That’s not fair to Durant, a real person who’s affected by the personal attacks. But it’s the reality of the situation.

Kerr isn’t helping, though.

Durant didn’t choose the Warriors for a “new challenge.” He wanted an easier challenge.

That’s fine. Most of us would do the same in our jobs. But Kerr’s obviously misleading description just gives more ammo to Durant’s critics.

At a certain point, it might just be easier to join Green and accept the villain role.