Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors worked out and then some.
After playing the first nine seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant joined the Warriors in free agency last summer. KD shined in his first season with Golden State, as The Dubs seemingly cruised to an NBA title, with Durant garnering 2017 Finals MVP honors.
The decision to join the Warriors wasn’t a slam dunk from the get-go, though. As fans will remember, Durant widely was criticized for his decision and effectively became public enemy No. 1 in Oklahoma City. In a recent interview with San Francisco Magazine, Durant recalled how much the ridicule affected him.
“To have so many people just say, ?(expletive) you,? that really does it to you,” Durant said. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for?. And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just?more than I could take. I was upset.”
Shortly after signing with Golden State, Durant set out on a China tour with Nike alongside business partner Rich Kleiman. One night during the tour, KD broke down and reached out to Kleiman with doubts in his mind.
“We were all messed up on jet lag,” Kleiman said, “and I was up at 6 a.m. and he calls me and says, ‘Yo, are you up?’ And I?m like, ‘Yeah, what?s up?’ And he’s like (yelling), ‘Why the (expletive) did you let me do this to my life?’ And I?m like, ‘Ohh (expletive), I?m coming over to your room.'”
And Durant was brutally honest when describing that tough night.
“That hotel was rock bottom,” he said.
Winning a championship surely has alleviated a lot of the hate thrown Durant’s way, but the star forward has been candid about how he handles harsh words. The Warriors are poised for another title run this season, though, so we don’t foresee KD hitting “rock bottom” in the near future.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images