Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant hasn’t had the greatest relationship with the media of late, and things came to a head after the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 141-102 on Wednesday.
Durant went back and forth with reporters over questions about his recent media silence and rumors about his free agency, eventually telling reporters to “grow up.”
The postgame news conference started off quietly enough, but then one of the reporters asked Durant why he hasn’t talked to media in recent days, given that he is usually available and open.
Durant said he just didn’t feel like talking.
The same reporter asked if it had to do with free agency. Durant is a free agent after this season, and an abundance of rumors indicate he’s going to sign with the New York Knicks.
The question set him off.
“it’s unnecessary,” Durant said. “You got a dude Ethan Strauss (from The Athletic) who comes in there and give his whole opinion on stuff and makes it seem like it’s coming from me … and now you are all piling on me because I don’t want to talk to you about that.”
Strauss wrote an article in The Athletic on Tuesday headlined “Silent Star: On the presumed Warrior’s exit of Kevin Durant.”
“With the caveat that the choice lives inside the head of one guy who can and does change his mind: Insiders around the league think Kevin Durant is leaving the Warriors for the Knicks,” Strauss said. “Most people within the Warriors either think Durant is leaving or profess not to know one way or the other. His teammates recognize this reality, can handle it and merely want one outcome: Win a championship, absent too much drama. The main concern, at the moment, is whether he’ll commit in the short term to what he may have already left in the long term.”
Good times https://t.co/4bRiu31wK9
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) February 7, 2019
“I have nothing to do with the Knicks,” Durant said Wednesday. “I don’t know who traded (Kristaps) Porzingas. They got nothing to do with me, I’m trying to play basketball. You come here every day and ask me about free agency, you ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball, that’s all I’m saying.”
“And now when I don’t want to talk to you all, it’s a problem on me.
“Come on, man — grow up. Grow up — yeah you, grow up. Come on, bro. I come in here and go to work every day, I don’t cause no problems, I play the right way. … I try to be the best player I can be every possession. What’s the problem? What am I doing to y’all?”
When he was pressed again by a reporter on the question of his media silence, Durant said: “Who are you? Why do I got to talk to you? Tell me, is that going to help me do my job better? No. I didn’t feel like talking.”
He added, “I just don’t trust none of y’all. Every time I say something it gets twisted up and thrown out in so many different publications. Try to take me down with my words that I say. So when I don’t say nothing, that’s a problem.
“I just want to play ball. I want to go to the gym and go home, that’s all. Is that a problem?”
When a reporter followed up by asking him to assess his play and his team’s play, Durant walked out.
“I’m done,” he said. “You know you don’t care about that. Have a good night.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr defended Durant when asked about if free agency talk was affecting his star player.
Steve Kerr on why Kevin Durant has been radio silent with local media since Knicks trade pic.twitter.com/BEPVRMV1Ti
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) February 7, 2019
“Kevin has been unbelievable with the media since he’s been here, he’s always been accountable and here, so he just doesn’t feel like talking right now,” Kerr said. “Give him some space and I’m sure he’ll be back talking with you guys, but right now it’s not a great time for you to get any quotes from him.”
Durant had a great game against the undermanned Spurs with 23 points, eight rebounds, nine assists and three steals.
LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan did not play for San Antonio.
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