Q&A: Kevin Durant

Courtesy of  Connor Letourneau

On whether Clippers-Warriors is a rivalry:

“It’s hard to have a rivalry in the NBA, to be honest. It’s not like the ’80s, where all these players are locked in on their teams for five or six years. They didn’t have the option to move around, and I don’t know if they were really traded like that. So they built those Lakers-Celtics, Bulls-Knicks, those rivalries were built up. Nowadays, players get traded, they move teams every year. It’s a different team here now. Mostly all the core guys, but I’m sure the guys that started the rivalry, from Jermaine O’Neal to David Lee to Matt Barnes, those guys are on other teams. So, I don’t think the quote unquote superstars, they don’t start that stuff. It comes from the guys that are doing a lot of the dirty work down there. … As far as the fans and as far as being right down the street, in the Bay, both teams are doing really, really well this year. You can see why people call it a rivalry.”

On how much he leaned on Jordan this past offseason:

“I wouldn’t say I leaned on him. More than anything, I would just say he was a real friend. At the end of the day, he wanted me to come to the Clippers. But at the end of the day, he didn’t care. He was going to be my friend no matter what. I kind of just gravitated toward being around that, and just wanting to be around genuine people. Friendships, no matter who you play for, what you do or what decisions you make, that’s why I was around him more than anything. We just have genuine, mutual love for each other. We didn’t really talk about it too much.”

On how much it mattered to him knowing that Jordan knew what he was dealing with:

“I think it was a matter of making a decision of what you wanted, and not factoring in everybody else’s feelings, or everybody else’s opinions. It was just solely doing what you wanted to do. I think we just kind of had it coming. He made his decision, and our situations were different. But the fact that he made the decision he wanted to make, I think we agree that we both kind of went through the same things. Him going to Dallas, then having second thoughts about wanting to stay here around the people he grew up with, wanting to stick with this organization, I think him making that decision was bold. It was a tough decision, but it grew him as a person and as a basketball player. I felt the same way about my decision. It made conversation, it made us just getting to know each other, it made it better. Also, just having things in common as far as work-related things. Just having someone in common who can relate to you.”

On what intrigued him about the Clippers’ presentation:

“Blake (Griffin), DJ and CP (Chris Paul). That’s what made it interesting. Those guys are tremendous, unbelievable talents. They made it tough on me. They made it tough, just knowing those guys. Like I said, DJ is a close friend. CP, I’ve known him since I was in high school. I’ve gotten to know Blake over the years. That’s what made it tough. The other stuff, I’ve been in LA every summer. Facilities, all that stuff is the same to me. As long as you have a court and the ball. … The players, that’s what made it tough. They did a great job.”

On talking to Jordan about his decision to sign with Golden State:

“We didn’t talk about my decision. We didn’t talk about what I wanted to do. I just did it. I didn’t tell anyone. I just made a decision. He was the first one to text me congrats. … We just moved on from there. It wasn’t, ‘Why didn’t you come to us?’ It wasn’t any of that.’”


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