In one of the most bizarre, confrontational postgame press conferences you’ll see, Kevin Durant bashed reporters regarding recent reports on his upcoming free agency.
Some context: this was the first time Durant had spoken in past nine days. His absence coincided with numerous reports citing his interest in leaving the Warriors and joining the New York Knicks this upcoming summer. Durant is likely to opt out of the final year of his contract after the current season. One recent New York Times report went so far as saying Durant leaving for New York “has never felt more real to the Warriors themselves.”
Back to Wednesday night. About 30 minutes after Durant chipped in 23 points and the Warriors cruised to a 39-point blowout over the visiting San Antonio Spurs, Durant decided he finally wanted to talk.
The first question centered on the game. A typical answer followed.
The second question, from The Athletic‘s Tim Kawakami, asked for Durant to explain his recent absence.
“Why do you care?” Durant said. “I didn’t feel like talking the last couple of weeks.”
When prodded whether his absence had anything to do with free agency talks, Durant said, “I just didn’t feel like it.”
“I don’t think about that type of stuff,” Durant said. “That’s your job.”
Durant went on to say the reports and so-called speculation isn’t “necessary.”
Then Durant, visibly frustrated, uncorked a long response at the media and the reports attached to his free agency.
“You got a dude, (The Athletic‘s) Ethan Strauss, who come in here, just giving his whole opinion and stuff and make it seem like it’s coming from me,” Durant said, in response to Strauss’ recent article on Durant’s disappearance. “And he’s walking around here, don’t talk to nobody, just walk in here and survey and write something like that, and now y’all piling on me because I don’t want to talk to y’all about that. I have nothing to do with the Knicks, I don’t know who traded (Kristaps) Porzingis (to the Dallas Mavericks). It has nothing to do with me. I am trying to play basketball. Y’all come in here every day, ask my teammates, my coaches, you rile up the fans about it. Let us play basketball. That’s what I am saying. Now that I don’t want to talk to y’all, it’s a problem with me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up.”
Durant then looked directly at Strauss.
“Yeah, you, grow up,” Durant said. “I come in here, I don’t cause no problems. I play the right way, or I try to 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?”
Strauss responded, saying, “You weren’t talking to the media.”
“So?” Durant said. “Who are you? Why 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.”
Durant responded to the following statement, which essentially pointed out, ‘We are asking about your absence because the fans are curious.’
“I just don’t trust none of y’all,” Durant said. “Every time I say something, it gets twisted up and thrown in so many publications try to tear me down with my words I say. So, when I don’t say nothing, it’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? All right, then.”
Kawakami followed up by attempting to ask a question related to basketball, and Durant got up and left the interview room, saying no one wanted to actually talk about the game.
“I’m done,” Durant said.