Kevin Durant has been the subject various assaults on his character as a basketball player over the years and his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder always seems to be under question. When he left the team in 2016 to join the 73-9 Warriors, NBA fans everywhere were shocked and appalled that such an incredible talent would go play for a team that was already so good without him. Clearly, Durant wanted to get some rings so that his legacy could be cemented, although it kind backfired on him.
On ESPN’s First Take yesterday, Stephen A. Smith spoke about Durant and how the team viewed him while in OKC. According to people close to the situation, Durant was actually seen as a boy, while Russell Westbrook was seen as a man. This led to some people not taking Durant seriously as a leader in the locker room.
“Several people have come up to me. A couple people who used to play in Oklahoma City. Several people that are incredibly familiar with the history KD in Oklahoma City. They said when he was in Oklahoma City, he wasn’t viewed as the leader,” Smith said. “They said it was hard for Russell Westbrook to follow him because KD, the man that you see right now, was a boy back then. And Russell Westbrook came in a man. So to go to Russell Westbrook and to ask him to follow that guy, Russell Westbrook was a man lookin’ at you like you’re asking him to follow a boy. I’m quoting. I’m not tellin’ you who. But I’m quoting folks that said that and it was more than one person.”
These claims don’t do much to help support Durant’s place in the league, especially when you realize how sensitive he can be. We’re surprised he hasn’t clapped back at Smith with a Twitter barrage yet but if it happens, we’ll be sure to let you know.