What a wake-up it has been this summer for Thunder fans.
We find out that — he didn’t like playing with Westbrook, he doesn’t like all the attention received in Oklahoma City (just weeks after he talked about how he loved his easy-going life here) and lastly now it comes out that he doesn’t like to play under pressure! What? This is when all of this comes out? Now? Really?
It was apparent in the weeks leading up to the decision that Durant wasn’t planning to stay. His body language during the playoffs, his play during the playoffs and his disappearing act right after the Thunder were out, all made me predict in early June that he was going to be gone. I didn’t necessarily want it to happen, but I was also not too upset about him leaving. Fans could tell his head and heart weren’t in the games. Although he wasn’t limping, many fans in the stands wondered if his foot was bothering him again. He just wasn’t himself or maybe he was and this was his way of showing us. We kept waiting for him to have a game from the days of old, one of those games where he took over and made those incredible shots to win the game. It wasn’t going to be, although there were occasional games during the playoffs when we thought — maybe he’s back.
Instead it was Westbrook, like he has all season long, that came out with the passion and fire of someone who wanted to win. With the spotlight on Westbrook with his record-setting season and passion evident for all to see, perhaps that’s what helped make the final decision go the way it did. Durant didn’t look like the team leader as much as Westbrook did, even though everyone still called Durant the leader, he had to know down deep that it wouldn’t be too long before it would be widely recognized that Westbrook was the true leader of the team. Perhaps that’s what his revolving door entourage was whispering in his ear, get out now.
Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with a twenty-some year old young man wanting to change jobs, that’s most certainly his right. But what I and so many others have a problem with is going to the team that he basically handed a win to in the last few minutes of game six with his multiple turnovers and shooting something like 1 for 7 when it mattered. And then the most disagreeable member of the other team starts bragging on how he was recruiting Durant all year long, including during the playoffs. That’s where the problem is with me and that’s why he will never be thought of the same way here in Oklahoma City. Any other team, we wouldn’t have liked it, but Golden State, come on, that’s just way wrong.