After Kevin Durant left the Thunder in shocking fashion, he wanted everyone to think he was hard and gangsta and that leaving OKC and the Thunder fans was no big deal. Durant wanted everyone to believe he was adulting and turning the new page on a life he wanted more than the old life he set flames to. But people rarely change to the point you ask yourself “why did I like that guy in the first place.” Durant’s rep had been of a lethal scorer in the modern NBA. His character was the nice guy, the ultimate teammate, the dude who you want as your neighbor, your cousin, your friend. Then he went out and did all the opposite things we think a person like that would do. He was selfish. But nothing about Durant’s past history spoke of a closet narcissist. Nevertheless, Durant joined a front runner to win a title. He turned his back on his OKC family just to get a ring.
The inaccurate analysis of Durant not mattering anymore and that in Golden State he would be riding Steph Curry’s coattails was proven false from the get-go. Durant is the Warriors best player and it is not even close.
But if he wasn’t exactly likeable for leaving OKC, now he seems like that ex who breaks up with you by text and still is hanging around. It’s not ghosting Durant is doing. Ghosting would actually be preferable- stop communicating. But he’s haunting. Haunting is when the ex scans your mentions and snaps without you knowing it. They still care.
About OKC, Durant still cares.
Durant critiquing former coach Billy Donovan and his scrub ex-teammates (a smack to Sam Presti who put this team together) punctured the whole Durant is a great teammate narrative. He threw massive shade. But that wasn’t the worst part of emo-Durant. It was when Durant admitted after he signed with the Warriors he had remorse. He thought he did the wrong thing, not the right thing. He was miserable. He hit “rock bottom”. He didn’t expect the OKC backlash.
Was he not around during the Decision and the LeBron jerseys burning? How did he think OKC fans would react to their beloved hero defecting to the team that just broke their heart?
“I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for and those people that I know and love and trust… to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just more than I could take.” (Kevin Durant)
There is something about that version of Durant, the crying tears Durant, that seems a little bit fragile which is what the whispers about Durant always were. Not tough six inches deep. A pleaser.
This latest Durant info just reveals how special a place OKC was to Durant, even after the OKC collapse against the Warriors. Durant cut ties but he didn’t. He wanted back in. He felt terrible for his decision.
Here’s a life lesson for KD. Some things are supposed to be kept to yourself. The Warriors don’t know Durant as well as the Thunder do. Judging this teary eyed Durant makes them ask themselves: what is the problem? He has a ring. Had he stayed healthy all year he would have been a MVP candidate. Is it possible that Durant cannot be happy?
Durant is like the dude who gets with the rich girl and he still longs for the bae who worked at Starbucks even when he is moving into a twenty room mansion. Dude, get over it. Live in the present.
The Warriors are left scratching their heads according to the Vertical’s Chris Mannix. It makes perfect sense, the Warriors confusion. Every player wants to win a title. It doesn’t matter how you get there, you are a champion. You had a parade. You were Finals MVP. I don’t think Chris Bosh was trolling the Raptors after he won a title with the Heat. Bosh was partying all summer long in South Beach.
What’s up with this Durant, the NBA champ?
Durant threw shade at Steph Curry over Under Armour. He cracked on his former team for no reason other than to gloat and get some perverse pleasure out of mocking them. But there is a kernel of knowledge here. Either intentionally or Freudian accidental, Durant revealed himself. He really is thin skinned. He can’t take all the Durant drive-by and the Durant trolling and the Durant is a front runner hate. It got to him. He had to justify himself one year later. The time to do all this defending was last summer when he made the move.
Durant has not gotten over OKC. He’s broken up but he has not. He actually said, “I love those people (OKC) and I don’t never want to hurt them.” Durant is living in a bubble if he thinks he didn’t hurt OKC on multiple strategic, fan base, and competitive balance levels.
After trying and failing to pull off an illusion that he had burned bridges, Durant the sensitive has returned. We know more now than we used to know about Durant’s private agony and how he still needs to justify his decision. He’s haunted by the past instead of putting it behind him and focusing on the future. In a way, Durant did all of us a favor. He is the Durant we thought he was.
photo via llananba