Courtesy of Darnell Mayberry
Q: Going to OKC Saturday, are you going to be there with him?
A: Yes, I’ll be there.
What are you expecting? What kind of reception are you expecting? He says he knows it’s not going to be warm and friendly.
Well, I kind of know that too. I’m hoping for something better than that, but I know how passionate they are as fans and they were really disappointed when he left. So I’m expecting that, but I am also expecting them to show him some love too.
So you’re expecting the worst but hoping for the best. You’re very emotionally invested, obviously, in your son and in his career. Do you know what it’s going to feel like to hear people booing him given all that he did for that community and for that team? Have you prepared yourself for that emotion?
Well, I wasn’t prepared for the reaction. I knew that people would be disappointed when he left. But I cried at some of the things that I had read on my social media. And it’s going to hurt a little bit because I know how much he loves Oklahoma City, how much he cares about the organization and the team and some of his former teammates. And so it’s going to be hard, but I’m going to be there with him to support him. So we’re going to get through it, though.
What did you read in particular that hurt you?
Oh gosh, I can’t even mention it on TV the things that I’ve read that they’ve said about my son. They’ve called him a traitor. They’ve called him a snake. They’ve called him disloyal. And all of those things are so far from who Kevin really is. And so it’s really difficult to hear. But we got through it. And we’re going to continue to go on, and we’re going to get through Saturday, too.
How’d that make you feel reading that?
It was hurtful. I cried. And I would either say, ‘Mama Durant loves you and God bless you,” or I wouldn’t respond at all.
Another unfortunate subplot that seems to have come out of him leaving to go to Golden State is the relationship with him and Russell Westbrook. Everybody knows that when they played together, they at least appeared to be close. From your vantage point, how have you seen their relationship deteriorate, and have you talked to Kevin about that?
Well, I know Kevin will always love Russ. That’s what he said to me. He really doesn’t see where there’s a problem. He understands that there may have been some differences when he left the team. But he doesn’t really see a problem with it. He said that he and Russ will always be brothers and be brothers for life. And it’s something that they have to work out. It’s unfortunate that they have to do it in such a public forum like the NBA, but eventually I think they’ll work it out.
When we talked to you last season, you were very coy, understandably so, and protective about Kevin’s plans. Did you have an idea then that he would be looking to go to Golden State if things fell a certain way? Did you know back then?
What did I tell you back then? That I had to wait for the answer, too. Ahh, you being bad now.
Mama Durant, you don’t expect us to believe that he kept you in the dark, do you?
You know, a mother always covers her children so what I’ll say is we discussed it and I waited for him to let you all know what he was going to do. And so that’s where I’m going to leave that.
He seems to be getting real comfortable and certainly has been very consistent on the court. What do you think with this group in Golden State, why do you think, from a personality standpoint, he fits so well in with them?
Because one of the things about Kevin, he’s a team player. And he’ll do whatever it is the team needs. I personally want him to be the all-time leading scorer forever. That’s my goal for him. But that may not be what the team needs at the time. So as we’ve seen throughout this season, he’s become a shot-blocker, his assists are up, his rebounds are up. And so whatever the team needs. And so I think that’s why he fits in so well, because he’s able to adjust his game to whatever is needed at that particular time.
A lot of people saw the other night where Draymond Green, he appeared to have some choice words for your son and he said afterwards that he did that to light a fire under KD. What did you think about that tactic? And for that matter, I don’t know if you were at the game or if you were watching, what was it like for you to see one of his teammates basically cussing him out on TV and running up on him?
Well, of course I don’t like that. I’m the mama. I didn’t like that. But, you know, they said that that’s how they kind of get each other reaction a little bit. And so I’ll just go with what they said. But, nah, I don’t like that.
We’ve been talking a lot about mother’s intuition. A mother knows when her child, in this case your son, is at peace and is happy. Is there something that he’s said or that you’ve seen that lets you know ‘My son is in a good place?’
It’s not always what a son says, because once a son becomes a man I don’t think he wants to burden his mom with a lot of the things that he’s going through. But I can see it in his eyes. I can see the smile on his face when no one is watching or he’s just talking to the guys on the bench or he’s playing. Even when things are not going his way, like the other night when he played and it wasn’t really a good game, I didn’t see sadness in his eyes. And so that’s why I know that he did what he felt was best for himself. And he’s proven that now.