BOSTON — Kevin Durant is just trying to focus on the present. But it was hard for him to ignore the past at TD Garden on Friday morning.
Durant’s Golden State Warriors will battle the Celtics on Friday night in his first visit to Boston after a wild summer. The C’s were one of several teams who aggressively pursued Durant this offseason before he signed with Golden State in free agency, so it was only a matter of time before the All-Star forward was asked what he thought about the Celtics’ pitch to him this summer.
“I mean, I met with them, and they were really good,” Durant told a throng of reporters at the Warriors’ shoot-around. “I was really impressed by them. Hard for me to say how close each team was. I’m not even gonna go into that. But they were very impressive.”
It only took one follow-up question for Durant’s patience to wear thin, however.
“Do we really want to open this back up?” he replied when asked what he liked specifically about Boston.
“I mean, I’ve got much respect for everybody on that team,” Durant went on. “I know AB (Avery Bradley), I know Isaiah (Thomas), Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder. Those guys came (to meet in the Hamptons) and we had a nice talk.
“Like I said, they’re very impressive. The city of Boston is one of the best cities in the league, and I really respect how they approach the game, how they play the game. So, that was it.”
Durant declined to get into specifics about the Celtics’ pitch, which included a cameo from Tom Brady and others.
“It was pretty good,” he said. “I’m not going to go into depth on everything they said, but it was pretty good.”
Specifics aside, Durant clearly thinks highly of the Celtics and their organization. When the Oklahoma City Thunder visited Boston last season, the former MVP praised the city’s “family atmosphere” and gushed over head coach Brad Stevens and his players.
Of course, Durant’s compliments offer little consolation for the Celtics and their fans. The former NBA MVP is with Golden State now, and he said recently he feels “no attachment to Boston at all.”
Maybe C’s fans can at least take pride in the fact that one of the NBA’s best players has respect for the team that almost landed him in free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images