Since joining the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016, Kevin Durant has become arguably the most polarizing player in the NBA — possibly a close second in the entire U.S. sports universe behind Colin Kaepernick. Many viewed Durant’s decision to join the 73-win Warriors rather than sticking with the Oklahoma City Thunder as cowardly, evil, ridiculous, or pretty much any other adjective you can think of.
In the years that have followed, Durant has won two titles and has continued to speak his mind via Twitter and other media, eagerly confronting those who take issue with him. KD was at it again on Wednesday, as he sat down with 95.7 The Game to discuss the upcoming season. When the topic shifted to postseason awards like Defensive Player of the Year, Durant explained why it will be difficult for him to get them.
“You know they’re not gonna give me anything,” Durant said. “Even if it’s on the fence, I have to be clear-cut better than everybody for me to even get a look. … I mean, it’s just pure hate for me obviously, and no appreciation for my real skill for the game. But I get it. I understand where we’re coming from. I understand what we have here in this building that scares everybody.
” … You know, accolades, that stuff — that stuff is kind of long gone for me unless it’s like Finals or something like that where it’s probably pretty even. But regular season awards, I mean I’m never gonna get a look when it comes to that, especially playing here for the Warriors.”
Warriors forward Kevin Durant says he won’t get a fair chance at winning accolades like DPOY because of “pure hate” and the lack of appreciation for his skills, especially as he suits up for Golden State.
Durant won Rookie of the Year as a member of the then-SuperSonics and took home league MVP in 2013-14, but he has yet to win a regular-season award in two years with Golden State. He was the clear-cut winner of NBA Finals MVP in 2017, but some felt Stephen Curry was more deserving of the award when Durant took home his second straight this past June.
As for Defensive Player of the Year, Durant has made tremendous strides in that area since coming to the Bay Area. He’s averaged a career-high in blocked shots in each of the past two seasons, and his ability to guard multiple positions with his freakish length has been an invaluable asset to the Warriors’ defensive scheme.
We can’t be sure if it’s “pure hate,” that he hasn’t yet earned All-Defense honors, as Durant suggests, but it’s probably hard for voters to even think about Durant as Defensive Player of the Year when his own teammate, Draymond Green, is widely considered one of the best, if not the best, defenders in the NBA.
Oh well. Whatever motivation it takes for Durant to continue to play at this incredible level is fine by us.
Courtesy: CBS Sport