He hasn’t made any such pledges about next summer, but says he’ll once again stick to his word.
Durant, via Nick Friedell of ESPN:
“Just be honest,” Durant told ESPN. “I was honest with my decision, but just like outwardly if people ask me about it, don’t be ashamed to talk about why I decided to move teams and switch teams because it’s not the end of the world. I didn’t do anything against the law, you know what I’m saying? That’s what I thought happened the first time.”
“I’m like, ‘Man, there’s so much attention on me because I switched teams,'” Durant said. “I thought I did something wrong, but I knew deep down in my heart that was the perfect decision for me and I know that now I just got to stand on that, outwardly say it, and that will stop the speculation from a lot of people. … When they don’t know, when people really don’t know the end, the conclusion or why I did something, they’re going to always speculate and create stories and clicks and that’s only going to make me more upset. So I’d just rather keep it open and transparent with you.”
“I dealt with it before,” Durant said. “I just try to be as honest as I can. I’m not going to tell people what I’m thinking. … Some days I think about my free agency, some days I don’t. Some days I think about what my future looks like, some days I don’t. I’m just human. That’s just natural for me. But I can’t sit down and talk to people about it because I want to keep playing, I want to focus on the season.
“I’m here,” Durant said. “I’m 100 percent committed to this team this year and going as hard as I can every single day to be the best player that I can be to help this team win. It’s going to be a lot of speculation on where I should go play ball, but at the end of the day it’s just me playing ball. It doesn’t really matter. I’m just playing ball, you know what I mean? I’m not making a huge, huge decision that’s going to affect anyone else, but just myself, so I don’t even know why everybody cares that much.”
People care because they’re interested in the NBA, which in turns, leads to Durant earning so much money. They especially care about where he plays, because he’s good enough to shift the landscape of the entire league – especially when joining/staying with a team as good as Golden State.
I appreciate Durant’s candor here. Many players pretend they don’t even think about their upcoming free agencies, but it’s a huge life decision. Who could totally avoid considering options? Compartmentalizing that choice to focus the task at hand is part of the job, and Durant is facing that challenge rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.
Durant said he’s taking free agency “year by year,” and there’s already plenty of speculation about what he’ll do next summer. It’s unavoidable. Durant appears to be handling it the best way possible – accepting the inevitable attention, instilling certain boundaries and being honest within them.