Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant sure gave the media a lot of headline-grabbing soundbytes today, all of which are so easy to take out of context.
Don’t worry, we won’t be dramatizing or exaggerating any of his comments, we’ll simply stick to reporting it.
Durant spoke at length about a number of topics including being a leader and the non-existent “loyalty” in the league.
“I came here to play basketball in the exact same way I’m playing it right now,” Durant told GQ’s Zach Baron.
“Steph Curry is the face of the franchise, and that helps me out, because I don’t have to,” Durant continued.
“I don’t want to have to be the leader. I’m not a leader. I’m bad at saying, ‘Stand behind me and follow me.’ No. I’m one of those guys that’s just like, ‘Let’s do this shit together. Let’s just work everybody together. I don’t mind being on the front line with you, but let’s come and do it together.’ That’s my way of leadership. I’m leading by example.”
Durant is fine playing “second fiddle” to Curry and that lessens the immense pressure he probably felt on his shoulders during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder that probably doesn’t weigh so heavily in Golden State, especially after winning an NBA Championship.
In terms of the business side of basketball, Durant, who has been heavily criticized when he jumped from the Thunder to the Warriors in free agency, he had some very straight-forward words to describe it.
“Ain’t no such thing [as loyalty],” Durant said in an interview with Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “You see disloyalty in different ways, but that’s one of the most underrated parts of the game. We scream loyalty, but we don’t expect it from the people writing the checks because they’re writing the checks.”
“[People say] ‘You should be fine with it because you’re getting paid.’ I liked it better when I was naive about the NBA business, how f**ked up it is. That was better for me that way… You put money and business into something that’s pure, it’s going to f**k it up.”
Warriors’ Klay Thompson Suffers Torn ACL in Left Knee
Thompson was hurt with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter when he was fouled as he attempted a dunk by Raptors guard Danny Green, forcing Thompson to land hard, and awkwardly, and he immediately grabbed his knee in pain and stayed on the floor for several minutes.
Thompson would head to the locker-room, only to return to shoot his free throws and attempt to play, but was pulled following the free throws when Warriors’ center DeMarcus Cousins caused an intentional foul to stop the game.
Thompson was having an incredible night for the Warriors, and had 30 points in 32 minutes, going 8-for-12 from the field and pulling down five rebounds when he exited for good.
“It’s just tough in terms of a guy like Klay that left it all out there,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said of Thompson (h/t ESPN). “He was playing amazing tonight. And to see a freak play like that where he lands awkwardly. I don’t know the diagnosis yet, but you think about the person and the guy and how much he loves to play the game, and that’s the only thoughts you have. It’s really not about what it means in terms of playing basketball. It’s just I’m more concerned about him as an individual.”
“Obviously he’s a warrior,” Cousins said. “He’s a true definition of a warrior. Dude [was] basically on one leg, and he’s still trying to come out to play. To have a teammate like that, that’s all you can ever ask for. Love that dude to death. I’d go to battle with him any night.”
Warriors’ Draymond Green Says Team Run Not Over
Although the Golden State Warriors were defeated by the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, Warriors forward Draymond Green doesn’t think it’s wise to think that the Warriors run,which has included three titles in the past 5 years, is over.
“I think everybody thinks it’s kind of the end of us,” Green said, according to ESPN. “But that’s just not smart. We’re not done yet. We lost this year. Clearly just wasn’t our year, but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes. But, yeah, I hear a lot of that noise, it’s the end of a run and all that jazz. I don’t see it happening, though. We’ll be back.”
Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Green’s teammate, share Green’s sentiment.
“We’ll be thinking about this one. It’s tough,” Curry said. “But our DNA and who we are and the character that we have on this team, I wouldn’t bet against us being back on this stage next year and going forward. So, really proud of the way that we fought until the end, and this five-year run’s been awesome, but definitely don’t think it’s over.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reflected on the Warriors’ dominant run over the past 5 seasons.
“It’s hard to put into words how I feel about our team,” Kerr said. “What I’ve witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other. This just doesn’t happen. A group of guys like this doesn’t come around together and do what they did over the last five years. And I’ve been lucky enough to be their coach. That’s what I told them in the locker room.
“I can’t tell you my gratitude in terms of just being put in this position to be with this group and to coach them and to help them. But I could not be any luckier as a coach to be with these guys every day and to watch them compete and, boy, do they compete. I think they showed that throughout this series and throughout the playoffs.”
Green made it a point to note how the team battled, despite the losing effort.
“Obviously, you feel good about it, but it’s no shocker to us,” Green said. “We know what this team has been made of all along. I said it over and over again, the pretty offense will always be the storyline, but this team, a ton of heart. Everybody that steps on that floor displayed a ton of heart. So it’s no shocker to us that we continue to fight, but we came up a little short and that’s just it.”
Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Discusses Role in Game 2 Victory
“It feels great,” Cousins said, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. “I’ve leaned on my teammates throughout this moment and throughout this whole process, and this was an incredible moment for me. But I’m not satisfied, and I’m looking forward to Game 3.”
Cousins, who struggled in Game 1, finished Game 2 with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists in 28 minutes.
“I want to be on this stage,” Cousins said. “This is what I’ve worked for my entire career, to be on this stage, to have this opportunity to play for something.”
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