Kevin Durant may not still be angry with Oklahoma City.
Indeed, the author of a profile about Durant, one that had Durant’s cooperation, J.R. Moehringer, writing for the Wall Street Journal Magazine, pointed out in a profile that dropped online Tuesday morning, Durant has “spoken forgivingly about Oklahoma City in the past.”
However, the past is now the present. In the present, the former MVP sounds angry.
“I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” Durant told Moehringer. “I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That (expletive) must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.”
The “that” Durant was referring to was, he said, “People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood, people making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”
Also, Moehringer writes, Durant’s mother, Wanda, “recalls one particularly appalling piece of video: a Thunder fan firing bullets into a No. 35 jersey” even though Durant and much of his extended family had embraced and made OKC its home, even though Durant had given a million dollars to tornado victims.
The piece, entitled “Kevin Durant’s New Headspace” is about much more than his relationship with the Thunder and their city.
It's also about his departure from Golden State for the Brooklyn Nets. Durant contended he was happy playing for Golden State.
“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he said. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.”
Nor, Durant pointed out, did he go there to rehabilitate his career, but as a former MVP, instead. Thus, wrote Moehringer, Durant “stood apart from the group.”
“As time went on,” Durant said, “I started to realize I’m just different from the the rest of the guys.”
As to joining Brooklyn, Moehringer wrote that Durant had always felt welcomed as a visiting player and wondered what playing home games at Barclays Center might be like and that it also meant playing with Kyrie Irving, Durant’s “best friend in the league.”
Durant did, apparently, take something valuable away from his OKC departure.
“It made me realize how big this whole (expletive) is,” he said, meaning the over-covered, narrative-generating spin cycle that is the NBA.
And, as Moehringer writes, Durant is learning to separate the game he loves — basketball — from the monster the NBA has become.
Moehringer also wrote this:
“Durant wants people to know he’s happy. More, he wants them to please for the love of God stop asking if he’s happy.”
Given his comments about Oklahoma City, when he again visits the arena he used to call home, few may ask that question.
They may, however, take aim at his comments, and have another reason to feel disdain for the player who departed, without warning, for Golden State in July of 2016.