When Kevin Durant dropped his first podcast episode in months, he had a lot to say about the Warriors and the media narrative surrounding himself and the NBA champions.
The Nets star covered a lot of topics during his podcast, The ETCs with Kevin Durant co-hosted by Eddie Gonzalez. But he spent a good portion of his podcast discussing his former team and claiming he was never jealous of his Warrior teammates — even accusing media members of “trying to lie on my name.”
Durant said that there’s “always been a dialogue” about him being pitted against his teammates, going back to his Oklahoma City days.
“I like those dudes. Like, I played basketball with those guys and I was a part of that dynasty that they’re building right now,” Durant said.
Durant admitted that he didn’t think the Warriors were considered a dynasty until they won this most recent championship. But while he’s proud of the Warriors, he didn’t seem to appreciate how people thought he would view the Golden State return to the mountaintop.
“I have some pride — like, damn, I was a part of something special, even though it was only two championships out of the four,” Durant said. “We had some amazing times. To see them finish it and continue it, yeah, you have a sense of pride to be a part of that.
“But then, when you listen to the broadcast and it’s just like, ‘Well, KD should be feeling this way,’ and it’s like, ‘Oh, here we go.’ They can’t let me just enjoy what they’re doing instead of trying to pit me against them, because I’m always going to take my side.”
Durant said he felt like he was a positive contributor “every single second” he was a part of the Warriors — every practice, shootaround and game. He continued to strongly push back at the notion that he was jealous of his Warrior teammates like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green back when he played with them.
“Steph and Klay broke the 3-point record while I was with the team. How am I jealous when I’m sitting in the corner, passing. I’m used to getting 20 shots, averaging 30 points per game,” Durant said. “I was about the group always. Never jealous of no teammate ever.”
Durant then criticized members of the Bay Area media — including some directly by name — for “lying and attacking” him, calling him jealous and saying he alienated teammates. Even though he operated on one-year deals in his entire time in Golden State, he felt like the local media created “unnecessary drama” between him and his team.
“My presence probably was just doing it. ‘Oh, you came back on a one-year deal.’ It’s like, why is that such a problem?’” Durant asked rhetorically. “Why is that making you feel a way? That I didn’t sign a three-year deal to stay here? Why is that a problem? That has nothing to do with how I’m operating in the locker room.”
While it may not have affected how Durant operated in the locker room, it seems clear that it affected everyone else around him. It’s noteworthy that Warriors coach Steve Kerr once said he enjoyed coaching Golden State’s 2019-20 season — when they were an NBA-worst 15-50 — more than Durant’s final year with the Warriors.
Durant said he did everything because he was trying to win, and there’s no question that he and the Warriors accomplished that. But he admitted that the narratives he felt forming around and about him — that he was selfish, that he had ulterior motives — ”hurt more than anything.”
Not everything Durant said seemed to be defensive of himself. He had praise for Finals MVP Steph Curry, saying his Game 4 performance was “iconic” and realized Curry was fully locked in to the game not through his 43 points, but his 10 rebounds.
“That game there was just, like, one of the greatest we’ve ever seen,” Durant said. “And in that environment and the shots he was making. And the rebounds, it was the rebounds for me. Playing with Steph, that’s how I know he’s super, super engaged — when he’s on the boards heavy.”
Durant also discussed the NBA Draft, his Brooklyn teammate Kyrie Irving’s situation, Charles Barkley’s “ride the bus” comments and his new KD 15 shoes that are dropping soon.
But his comments on his three years in Warriors blue and gold were, by far, the most interesting.