In his WSJ interview, Kevin Durant commented on his return to OKC as a Warrior. The bitterness from the fans was known, but KD spoke about the reception he got from the organization, the employees he spent years with. In case you missed it (via WSJ):
“Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena,” he says. “And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain’t talking to me? I’m like, Yo, this is where
wegoing with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?“
Durant said he had plans to come back to OKC and be a part of the community and organization, but after this happened, he crossed them off for good. The interview portrays his (naive) point of view, and someone is calling him out on the OKC part.
While on The Jump, Amin Elhassan agreed the fan reactions went overboard in Oklahoma City, particularly the fan who shot bullets through KD’s jersey but did say KD can’t say he was surprised about the way the Thunder organization felt about him after he left. (via The Jump)
“But as far as the organization thing, I’m a little surprised that he’s surprised. He was there, he knows. That’s the no.1 cult in the NBA. More than Miami, more than San Antonio, in terms of us against the world, you’re either with us or against us. To expect everyone to come back with open arms, that not what that organization is about.”
Elhassan pointed out he particularly shouldn’t resent the equipment managers and similar employees that are blue-collar workers in the organization. The reason? They can’t risk Sam Presti calling them in and firing them if they are nice to Kevin. Now, this may be hyperbole but would it completely surprise you to find out an NBA team is so vindictive
Durant’s defensiveness and thin skin are not all on them, but OKC did nurture and grow that in Durant (and Westbrook). They were always the most challenging organization to deal with and get any access to their players was a struggle. So both can’t be completely shocked – they are consistent with their behavior, but now they are on opposite sides.