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Sport‘You don’t know me like that’: Kevin Durant, the Warriors and a toxic locker room

20:05  02 july  2019
20:05  02 july  2019 Source:   warriorswire.com

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With the Warriors and Kevin Durant having different locker rooms next season, each party can chase titles in less awkward circumstances. And he took major offense to that, approached me in the locker room about that. He basically just said ‘stop acting like you know my motivations, stop acting

It has been speculated that the Warriors ' handling of Durant 's calf injury throughout the playoffs may have contributed to Durant 's decision to leave, and on Wednesday, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith reported that Durant ' You don ' t know me like that ': Kevin Durant , the Warriors and a toxic locker room .

‘You don’t know me like that’: Kevin Durant, the Warriors and a toxic locker room© USA TODAY USA TODAY

There was plenty of chatter around the NBA last season about where forward Kevin Durant would play basketball the following year. The talk wasn't limited to the national media - beat writers covering the team delved into that realm as well.

For one such writer - The San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau - it was clear Durant would move on to another team with his friend, guard Kyrie Irving. At the same time, he thought Durant felt slighted about his pecking order with the Golden State Warriors.

Here's what Letourneau told KNBR radio, according to their own Grady Duggan, after Durant moved on from the Warriors after winning two championships with the club:

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There was an awkwardness, just an uncomfortable feel every single day in that locker room. I think a lot of it stems from the fact that Durant didn't feel valued. He didn't feel like he got the credit he deserves as a two-time Finals MVP, arguably the greatest player in the world. And I think that was one of the driving forces in his decision to sign with the Nets.

I think that he was going to play with Kyrie this entire time. Now was it going to be with the [New York] Knicks or was it going to be with the Nets, that was up for debate.

Durant also took issue with Letourneau talking about the possibility of he and Irving playing together and confronted the beat reporter about it, according to Letourneau:

I had an interaction with him and his people back in February when I went on a podcast and I said that, 'If and when Durant leaves, it will be to go play with Kyrie, to follow Kyrie.' And he took major offense to that, approached me in the locker room about that. He basically just said 'stop acting like you know my motivations, stop acting like you know what I'm thinking, and what drives me. You don't know me like that.'

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Letourneau's comments were 40-minutes into a regional podcast, so Durant must have been keeping track of nearly everything said about him regarding his future plans. In the end, Letourneau's prediction turned out to be true.

A star of Durant's stature joining a 73-win team was odd at the time, and it apparently turned into an odd situation in the locker room. The Warriors already had the first-ever unanimous NBA MVP on board in guard Stephen Curry - Durant should have been prepared to be second in terms of popularity, no matter what he did on the court.

But it's surprising that two consecutive championships didn't soothe the feelings of disrespect felt by Durant. Winning usually, but clearly not always, solves all problems. Both the Warriors and Durant will have completely different locker rooms next season, so they can chase championships in ideally less awkward circumstances.

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