Kevin Durant Sheds More Light On Decision To Leave Golden State For Brooklyn

Alex Greenberg
September 10, 2019 - 7:25 pm

After three intriguing years in Northern California, Kevin Durant now resides in Brooklyn.

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The new NBA season begins on October 23 for the Nets, but not for Durant. Durant is expected to miss the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign due to a ruptured Achilles he suffered back in June during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Durant has been quiet since the injury and since he announced he was joining the Nets, but he recently gave a wide-ranging interview to the Wall Street Journal where he shed some more light on his decision to leave the Warriors. The 10-time All-Star claims he never really felt like he fit in perfectly with Golden State.

“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there … Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there … I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So, it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there.”

Durant won two titles with the Warriors after departing from Oklahoma City as a free agent in 2016. He might have won a third if he hadn’t been injured in the Finals, as he had been playing tremendously well down the stretch and in the playoffs until that point.

Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant

In Brooklyn he has a chance to make his own way. And he has a chance to play with Kyrie Irving, who is one of his closest friends in the league.

Rich Kleiman, Durant’s manager and business partner, is also quoted in the piece. Kleiman relays a story about how Durant told him he was joining the Nets when the two met for lunch, just before the start of free agency, at Cipriani, an exclusive restaurant in SoHo.

Durant added that it was a “simple” decision to join the Nets, as he always felt welcome when playing at Barclays Center and wondered what it would be like to play for the home team there. 

The Knicks also made an effort to try and sign Durant, but he ultimately picked the Nets and didn't offer up any further explanation for why he spurned Manhattan. 

The 30-year-old star also explained why he chose to wear No. 7 in Brooklyn instead of his usual No. 35. Durant says he chose it because it stands for completion in the Bible.