Q&A: Kevin Durant

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 with No comments
Courtesy of Darnell Mayberry

A story in GQ created some buzz, specifically the quote about your players not being as good in the past. What specifically did you mean?
I think my words were misinterpreted a little bit. I read that this morning and felt bad, but I was just talking in terms of how the public views our team, how everybody views us. Everybody talks about the James Harden trade to this day. Everybody else is asking about a player that's a 3-time All-Star, leading scorer in the league, so we can't do nothing about that. I never wanted to slight my teammates like I did, but just from the outside looking in, that's how people view us. That we got worse. But we can't control that. That's what really I was trying to say, so I'm sorry if my words got misinterpreted, but I never want to slight my teammates.
Do you resent the organization for trading James Harden?
Do I resent the organization? Nah. Hell nah. Let's look at it this way. We won 60 games the year he was gone, we won 59 the next year. Had a few injuries, never know what would have happened. So not at all. Plus they signed me to a max deal (smiles).
A lot of people on the outside looking in think that might be a factor in your decision next summer, the fact that they traded James and the talent hasn't been the same as in the past and you haven't been to the Finals since. What impact does that decision in 2012 make on your decision next summer?
None. None. We're still a good team. Still a good team. Let's be real now. We'd still be up there if we didn't have injuries. If I wasn't out, if Russ wasn't out, we'd be up there. So don't act like we a bad team or we got worse. Nah, we had injuries. It's a part of the game and I understand that, not crying about it. But that's what happened. We lost Russell for a playoff series, we lost Serge for a playoff series. Stuff like that happens, but to say all because we lost James we didn't make it to the Finals. Everybody's going to have their opinion, especially with the time winding down and the summer coming up with me, but I love where I'm at right now and I'm just trying to focus on that every single day.
I heard a comment on the radio coming in here, someone said it sounds like you're positioning yourself to let people down in 2016 with the comments you have made the past weekend, the GQ article. How do you explain the shift in your attitude and comments?
See, that's what I was talking about. People want to believe that because one person said it. They haven't talked to me, they don't know what I'm thinking, none of that. Obviously I can't defend myself when a bunch of people are going to write something that's not true. That's what I was talking about. How can you say something on the radio without talking to me? I know that's your job, but you can't just say that if you don't know me at all, don't know what I'm thinking, my family or friends.

We've sort of gotten to know you a certain way the first six, seven years and this year you've been edgier, you've been more outspoken. How do you explain that shift?
Let's be real. Let's look at the whole thing. I've been in the league eight years. The media and myself have had a great relationship for eight years. I said something. 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 way? I can't say nothing wrong? We had great communication for eight years and it's still that way. But I had a moment. Everybody in life has one. You had one for sure before but it's not broadcasted like mine. I was more so trying to take up for my teammates, my coach and every guy in the league that gets scrutinized and I don't like. Maybe I shouldn't say nothing about it. I had my moment. More than anything I was told I bite the hand that feeds me. I don't know what that means. I really don't know what that means. I wish someone would explain it to me. But I don't remember none of you guys being there when I was eight years old and putting in that work, the nights when I'm in here putting in that work. So I don't really understand what that means. But, hey, I gotta roll with it. That's a part of it. I shouldn't cry cause everybody been through it.
Was that the comment from Skip Bayless on First Take?
I don't know the show, man. Some guy on some show on one of those networks. I heard that.
Was he referring to Scott Brooks or something? What was he referring to?
I don’t know. I guess he was referring to the media, about I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me because I won MVP and they voted for me for MVP. But, hey, yeah.
Kevin, do you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly personally?
Nah, I mean. What’s unfairly?
You tell me. A lot of people have different definitions of it.
Yeah, I mean. I don’t know.  I don’t read them articles like that. So I don’t know. I mean, I’ve seen a few. But nah, I mean it’s more so just an attack on our team and our players and our coach and all that stuff. It’s not going to fly with me. I really don’t like it. I’m not going to sit here and agree with you when you’re trying to bash my coach or one of my teammates or anything. That’s just who I am as a person. Like I said, we had a great relationship. We still have a great relationship, myself and the media. I had a moment. I hope we can get past it. But I’m sure everybody has those types of moments.
Were you surprised by just the amount of attention that moment has gotten nationally?
Yeah, I didn’t realize at that point how much it would get, the attention it would get. I was just speaking my mind. I was taught sometimes that you might have to say stuff that makes people uncomfortable sometimes. But like I said, I don’t want it to be a distraction to my team, my family or whatever. The last few days I’ve been called everything in the book, and that’s fine with me. But I don’t want it to ever be a distraction to the team.
Is it tough in any way to be, like, a megastar in the social media age? A lot of stars haven’t gone through this type of thing.
Yeah, we’re in a different age. Like I said, I’ve heard a lot of stuff the last few days about the Michael Jordans and the other guys. But they didn’t have to go through social media. It wasn’t right there for them. So it’s a different age. It’s a different era, a different time in our society. It is what it is, man. Like I said, we had a great relationship and I had a moment there. I’m not saying it’ll be my last one. But I’ll try to work on just being honest with you guys but at the same time being more respectable. I made a mistake.
Kevin, Woj just tweeted that the agent for Reggie Jackson requested a trade. Do you expect him to be here tomorrow night? Do you expect him to continue with this team, or do you feel like his days are numbered?
I have no clue, man. I don’t make those decisions. I don’t ask Reggie that type of stuff. I’m sure that’s personal, I guess. But I don’t know. Whoever’s on this team tomorrow around that deadline we’re rolling with. I’m rolling with them today, tomorrow, whenever. So I love Reggie as a teammate. But whatever happens, I have no control over. I really don’t know, to be honest.
But that goes back to the Harden thing. You guys keep bringing in this talent, Jeff Green, James Harden, maybe now Reggie. If you guys keep getting this talent and not be able to hold onto it, what does that do for you in terms of your desire to want to be here?
I mean, it shows how great our organization is. You keep getting talent after talent and keep rolling them in here like that, that shows that they got a great eye for talent. Reggie, James, Jeff, I mean they did a great job with bringing those guys in. But like I said, he’s on our team right now. We’re rolling with them. We’re still in our game plan. But who knows what will happen.