Kevin Durant’s first game with the Warriors was an emphatic loss to the Spurs. They play the Pelicans in New Orleans Friday night, and let nobody tell you that Durant was not nearly alone in the Smoothie King Arena working on his jump shot, yelling to himself, mimicking the haters who say that he’s a coward who has no drive. (So, Stephen A.)
“It’s not that I read it — it’s just in the air,” he told ESPN’s Ethan Strauss after his solo practice. “You know it’s just in the atmosphere and people tell you and you hear about it. You guys ask me questions about it all the time, so obviously I know, but I’m not losing sleep on it. It’s just wood on that fire.”
By “you guys,” Durant meant the media, who he continued to harp on:
On the media response to Golden State’s big debut loss, Durant said, “Obviously you hear everything. Season’s over, the team is worst team in the league, you thought it was going to be easy. It’s one game. I thought, after losing in the playoffs by 30 or beating someone by 30 in Game 1 of the playoffs and you say it’s only one game. It’s one game of 82 and you f—ing guys make me feel like the world’s going to end.”
Durant can and should use any motivational tactic that works for himself, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If he is already getting bugged by media scrutiny this season he’s in for a very rude awakening.
But you know who will be just fine with Durant continuing to be prickly? The media. Whatever happens with Durant and this team, it’s a good bet that it will make for good copy.