Suns’ Kevin Durant shares how the Warriors’ tenure impacted the NBA’s legacy

KD shares how the Warriors’ tenure impacted his NBA legacy originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Kevin Durant, a 13-time NBA All-Star, two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP, and one-time league MVP, no longer cares what people think.

“I don’t care about the legacy,” Durant said The Athletic Shams Charania. “Before me. I used to want to clear out a lane or space in this game for people to remember, but now it’s become too much. It’s just too focused on other people. What did he do, what did he do comparisons. Back when we didn’t have all these discussions, it mattered to me… I’m soon in the same breath with these top guys. It was big.

“Nowadays, I really, really don’t care. I really just want to go out and produce, be the best I can be, go home, hang out with my family, that’s it.”

Durant was drafted in 2007 by the Seattle Supersonics, who later became the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he spent his first nine years in the league before regrouping with the dynasty in it golden state.

He spent three seasons and won two championships with the Warriors before joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, though an Achilles injury sidelined him until the 2020-21 season.

But things went awry last offseason when he requested a trade from the Nets and urged the team to consider a head coach and general manager change. The trade request was eventually brushed aside, but when Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving made the switch to the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks, Durant followed suit.

“When I left to go to the Warriors, I thought to myself, ‘everything makes sense, when it comes to me, it’s out the window,'” Durant said. “When it comes to me, people aren’t going to think logically or just look at what I did and say, that’s it. They have to add a narrative, they have to push something to discredit me. When I left to go to the Warriors it was the gymnastics how to discredit me at every turn. It’s like, damn, that’s not even fun, not like engaging with people anymore because y’all aren’t even being honest. You move the goalpost every time, you expect the best from me and if I don’t achieve it, I’m a failure. It’s like what’s the problem?

“I don’t throw my S— at people. People want their own experience in the NBA. Your experience is your experience. I can not say anything. I let it be. When a fan says, “KD, I don’t like the way you did that.” I can’t get excited about it. That’s your view and how you look at the league. I just learned to accept that, move forward and do my best.”

Durant was traded to Phoenix Suns at this year’s close and played his first game at the Footprint Center as a member of the Suns organization on Wednesday.

After the swap, Phoenix became the West’s favorite and their chances of winning the finals skyrocketed.

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Durant is still chasing his first championship since 2018. While he cherished his years with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green at the Bay, he said his attitude changed when he was at the Golden State.

“I would say around the Warriors years. I wouldn’t say I was trying to please people, but I was just trying to get people to understand who I am as a player,” Durant said. “There has been so much confusion about how I left OKC, who I am as an individual. And I felt like I had to explain that to the media and NBA fans, but after a while I just thought they’d believe what they are, I’ll still believe it, so I don’t need to screw up their experience and try to change and alter their way of thinking about the situation.

“After a while I was just like f—it—you can think how you want to think. I know that’s just part of it. I’m done getting you to understand who I am as a person and as a player. “

With six games remaining in the regular season, Durant will continue his fresh start in the desert while pursuing the one thing that matters to him: winning a championship.

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