Kevin Durant didn’t hold any punches when speaking to the media in New York at All-Star Weekend.
“Ya’ll don’t know s—,” Durant said.
Durant was responding to a question concerning his head coach Scott Brooks’ job security. Questions have long surrounded Brooks as to whether he’s the right man for the job in Oklahoma City, but Durant has always been vocal in his support of the seven-year coach.
In his acceptance speech for Most Valuable Player Durant noted that Brooks doesn’t get any credit, “even though you deserve all of it.”
Durant has long been known as one of the “nice guys” in sports. His public persona has always been one of humility and general politeness. But the 26 year-old reigning MVP has become increasingly outspoken this season.
That could be due to the plaguing injuries that have followed the Thunder around all season. Either way the four-time scoring champion says he’s getting more and more comfortable expressing himself.
“My first few years in the league, I was just finding myself,” Durant said Friday. “I think most of the time, I reacted based off of what everybody else wanted and how they viewed me as a person. I am just learning to be myself, not worrying about what everybody else says, I am going to make mistakes.”
Durant says he wants his young fans to know that no one is perfect.
“I just want to show kids out here that athletes, entertainers, whoever, so-called celebrities, we aren’t robots,” Durant said. “We go through emotions and go through feelings and I am just trying to express mine and try to help people along the way.”
“I am not going to sit here and tell you that I am just this guy that is programmed to say the right stuff all the time and politically correct answers. I am done with that. I am just trying to be me and continue to grow as a man.”
On Wednesday Durant took a very different tone with the media after the team’s practice session fielding any and all questions from local reporters. Here’s what he had to say about being more outspoken recently.
“I had a moment. Everybody in life has moments. You had one for sure before but it’s not broadcasted like mine. I was more so trying to take up for my teammates, my coach and other guys in the league that gets scrutinized and I don’t like. Maybe I should shut up about it. I had one moment,” Durant said.
Durant never makes headlines for getting into trouble, or badmouthing teammates or coaches. He’s a gym rat. He lives to play basketball and will stop at nothing to get better.
One of the disadvantages of having “a moment” in 2015 is social media. Players and coaches have never been scrutinized more with the access and platforms of 2015 and all across the sports world it’s taking a toll on athletes including Durant.
“We’re in a different age,” Durant said. “Like I said, I’ve heard a lot of stuff the last few days about the Michael Jordans and the other guys. But they didn’t have to go through social media. It wasn’t right there for them.”
“So it’s a different age. It’s a different era, a different time in our society. It is what it is, man. Like I said, we had a great relationship and I had a moment there. I’m not saying it’ll be my last one. But I’ll try to work on just being honest with you guys but at the same time being more respectable. I made a mistake.”
As for Durant and the Thunder it’s back to work as the team looks to gain ground in the Western Conference standings and make the playoffs. Next up is the Charlotte Hornets tomorrow night.