Suns' Kevin Durant shares how Warriors tenure impacted NBA legacy
KD shares how Warriors tenure impacted his NBA legacy originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Kevin Durant, a 13-time NBA All-Star, two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time league MVP, doesn’t care what people think anymore.
“I don’t care about legacy,” Durant told The Athletic’s Shams Charania. “I used to. I used to want to carve out a lane or space in this game for myself that people can remember, but it’s become too much of a thing now. It just becomes too much of a focus on other people. What’s he done, what’s he done? Comparisons. Before, when we wasn’t doing all this debating, I cared about it … I’m about to be in the same breath as these top guys. It was big.
“Nowadays, I truly, truly don’t care. I truly just want to go out there and produce, be the best that I could be, go home, hang with my family, that’s it.”
Durant was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, who later became the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he spent his first nine years in the league before joining forces with the dynasty in Golden State.
He spent three seasons and won two championships with the Warriors before leaving for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, although an Achilles injury sidelined him until the 2020-21 season.
But things turned sour over this past offseason when he requested a trade from the Nets and asked the team to consider changing their head coach and general manager. The trade request eventually was put to the side, but when Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving moved over to the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks, Durant followed.
“Once I left to go to the Warriors, I figured any logical thing, when it comes to me it’s out of the window,” Durant said. “When it comes to me, people are not going to think in a logical way or simply look at what I’ve done and say that’s it. They gotta add a narrative to it, they gotta push something to discredit me. Once I left to go to the Warriors, it’s been the gymnastics on how to discredit me every step of the way. It’s like, damn, that’s not even fun no more like engaging with people because y’all aren’t even being truthful. You move the goalpost every time, you expect the most out of me and if I don’t reach it I’m a failure. It’s like, what’s the problem?
“I don’t throw my s— at people. People want their own experience in the NBA. Their experience is their experience. I can’t say anything. I let it be. When some fan says, ‘KD, I don’t like how you did this.’ I can’t be upset at that. That’s your view and how you look at the league. I just learned how to accept that, move forward and be the best me.”
Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns at this year’s trade deadline and played his first game at Footprint Center as a member of the Suns organization on Wednesday.
After the trade, Phoenix became the favorites to come out of the West and their chances of winning the Finals skyrocketed.
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Durant still is chasing his first championship since 2018. While he appreciated his years playing with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the Bay, he said his attitude shifted when he was in Golden State.
“I would say around the Warriors years. I wouldn’t say I was trying to please people, but I was just trying to get people to understand who I was as a player,” Durant said. “There was so much confusion over how I left OKC about who I was as an individual. And I felt like I needed to explain that to the media and NBA fans, but after a while I was just like, they going to believe what they going to believe regardless. So there’s no need for me to even f— up their experience and try to shift and change the way they think about the situation.
“After a while, I was just like f— it — you can think however you want to think. I know that’s just a part of it. I’m done trying to get you to understand who I am as a person and player.”
With six games remaining in the regular season, Durant will continue his fresh start in the desert as he chases the only thing important to him: Winning a championship.
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