KD Talks GQ Article, Harden Trade and Media Relations
By Randy Renner
Thunder superstar Kevin Durant created quite a stir in New York over the weekend with some comments critical of the media and today in the cover story of this week's GQ Magazine he seems to take a shot at his current teammates saying they aren't as good now as when the Thunder traded away James Harden.
Durant spent about 12 minutes after Wednesday's Thunder practice addressing those topics, clarifying and expanding what he said and what he meant.
It was as open and interesting a media session as perhaps Durant as ever had with reporters here in Oklahoma City.
KD said he "felt bad" when he read the GQ story Wednesday morning and the impression it left.
"I was just talking in terms of how the public views our team and how everybody views us. Everybody talks about the James Harden trade to this day. I never wanted to slight my teammates or anybody here iot's just from the outside people view us is that we got worse. I'm sorry if my words got misinterpreted, I never wanna slight my teammates."
And Durant pointed out the Thunder went on to win 60 games the season that Harden was traded and 59 the season after, despite injury issues.
Asked if he resents the Thunder organization for dealing Harden away KD was quick and to the point with his answer, "No, hell no."
Durant said the trade will have no impact "none" on whether he decides to remain in OKC with his next contract or go somewhere else.
"We're still a good team, let's be real now, this year we would be right up there (record-wise) if we hadn't had injuries. So don't act like we a bad team or that we got worse, no. We had injuries and that's a part of the game."
As to his recent criticism of the media, telling reporters in New York during the All-Star break "Ya'll don't know sh-t" when he was asked about head coach Scott Brooks being on the hot seat he reminded local reporters, "You know I've been in the league eight years and we've all had, the media and myself, we've had a great relationship. And two days in a row I said something, am I allowed to be upset one time? Am I allowed to be mad? Am I human? Do you look at me that I can't say nothing wrong? We're had great communication for eight years and it's still that way but I had a moment. Everybody in life has moments. I was more trying to take up for my teammates, my coach and other guys in the league that get scrutinized."
Durant is growing up. He's no longer the wide-eyed kid who came into the NBA concerned about every little comment he might make about this or that. The Thunder organization sometimes goes overboard in trying to make sure everyone who represents the team doesn't say anything that would create the slight bit of offense with anyone.
Durant now feels he's been around long enough he can say what he really thinks at times. And when the incessant national narrative that the Thunder were too cheap to keep Harden, that Scott Brooks can't coach, that Russell Westbrook is too much of a wild man and that Durant himself lacks a killer instinct on the floor, well he's decided he will rise up and respond.
And let me tell you something, when it comes to the media and especially the national media who fly into a place like OKC and spend a day or two every few months, or maybe never come here at all, KD is absolutely right in his assessment. They don't know sh-t.