It's no secret that the story of the entire summer (if not the entire calendar year) was Kevin Durant's stunning departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors. Simply put, it shook up the basketball world and had ripple effects that will impact the NBA for years to come.
But despite all the hoopla surrounding the news, one of the relatively quiet voices on that front was Durant. Although he opened up a bit about the decision at his introductory press conference, it sure felt like he was awfully quiet beforehand. Frankly, it felt like he fell off the planet for a while in the days immediately following the announcement.
And if seems like that was the case, well that's because it actually was.
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Durant is at Team USA practices in Las Vegas, and opened up to the media about those fateful few days immediately following the announcement. Here are the details via USA Today:
"I didn't leave my bed, because I was like, 'Man, if I walk outside somebody might just try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me,'" Durant said. "I just stayed in. I was trying to process it all. I wanted to be around family, and positive support. It felt different.
"I mean I've been somewhere for so long and then to make a change like that (which) nobody knew was coming, that nobody didn't think I would do, of course I didn't know how it would be received afterwards. But at some point, I just said, 'Look man, life goes on. Life moves on, and I can't hide forever,' so I just had to face it."
Frankly, this news doesn't totally feel surprising, for two entirely different reasons. One, it's like we said above: It really did feel like KD disappeared off the planet following the announcement; and, two, because the announcement really was shocking. For all the coverage the league gets, for how much the sport is overanalyzed, it's amazing that -- as Durant said -- it really was a surprise to everyone when he announced he was going to Golden State.
At the same time, it's surprising to see Durant being so candid about the decision and admitting how uncomfortable he knew that the folks in Oklahoma City felt about it.
Of course, most of those who know Durant supported him (with the exception of maybe some of his former teammates), and he expanded on those thoughts, too. In the process, he also expanded on the criticism he has received from a number of NBA legends (and current TV opinionists) like Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley.
"Those are two guys, you know?" he said of Barkley and Miller. "They've got a voice in our game, and a lot of people probably felt the same way but they don't have a voice so obviously what they say is translated through a megaphone so it feels like everybody else (thinks that). If Charles Barkley said it, it must be true. If Reggie Miller says it, it must be true.
"It just feels like it's bigger than what it is. But for the most part, I got the support around me. I've got the family that supports me no matter what, that love me no matter what I do. I could be playing tennis right now, and I could retire from the game of basketball and they're still going to love me. If I think about that, I'll be fine."
Durant will be fine, and so will the Warriors.
At the same time, it will still be weird to see Durant suit up in the gold and blue when next season begins.