OAKLAND — Kevin Durant doesn’t much feel like rehashing his departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder and the feelings that might accompany such a career-altering decision. Not even with his former team in town for a game Tuesday night.
So he isn’t especially excited to play this game: “I’m already ready to play. I’m already excited to play so I don’t just get up for marquee games. Trying to get better every time I come on the court.”
Durant said the fraught dynamic with the Thunder changed last game when he realized that he didn’t know many of the players now on the team.
But he reached his breaking point when asked if he texts any Oklahoma City players when they come to the Bay Area.
“I got a question: Like, why do you care so much?” he asked.
When asked if the line of questioning bothers him, he admitted it did.
“It’s not even about the game. It’s about personal shit,” Durant said. “We can talk about basketball for a second if y’all want.”
But the Warriors, traditionally over the last season-and-a-half, have been particularly tight-lipped when questions about the Thunder are posed.
Head coach Steve Kerr didn’t want to offer any opinions about how Russell Westbrook, the catalyst of the rivalry, is adapting to OKC’s new core that includes Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
“Ask him. Honestly, I don’t pay attention to all that stuff,” Kerr said Monday. “The guy is a great player. He was a great player last year. He’s a great player this year. Every year is different for every team, new teammates. We all just do our best to adapt.”
That’s been the Warriors’ MO this season. When it comes to the Thunder and Westbrook in particular, they’ve been reluctant to offer anything that could ever be construed as bulletin board material.
When asked if that was the case on Tuesday, Draymond Green flatly denied that Oklahoma City presents a special case. Even if Westbrook notoriously responds to any perceived slight he gets — like thinking he was the last pick in the All Star Game draft because the rosters were presented in alphabetical order — the Warriors won’t allow they treat the OKC game any different than anything else.
Westbrook had a similar attitude when he was asked about the Warriors at shootaround on Tuesday. He didn’t want to talk about it and insisted it was business-as-usual.
It’s a hard-to-believe stance when their games are packed with trash talk and don’t resemble your typical NBA game in the slightest.
Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss it.