On Monday, the media spoke with the US Olympic Basketball team after their first official practice in Las Vegas, and Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald made sure to ask Kevin Durant about his free agency meeting with the Boston Celtics on July 2nd in the Hamptons.
Durant was questioned about his reaction to seeing Tom Brady, one of his favorite athletes, walk through the door with Danny Ainge, Isaiah Thomas, and the rest of the Celtics' delegation. According to KD, Brady's presence made quite the impression, and tempted him to want to immediately sign with Boston:
“I was ready to just say, ‘All right. Let’s go. I’m ready to go,’ seeing Tom Brady there,” Durant said. “Just seeing someone so successful at his craft and just a great ambassador for the game of football and the city of Boston, it was just great to be in the presence of greatness.
“But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t let that distract me. But he was great. It was great to see him.”
Tom Brady wasn't the only one to receive Durant's praise -- KD also had kind words for Celtics head coach Brad Stevens:
“I just like the way they play,” he said. “I like their coach. I feel they have some good pieces.”
In the end, Durant said his decision came down to where he "wanted to play basketball," and evidently that was Golden State:
“I just made a decision based on where I wanted to go,” he said. “It was simple as that. We can think about all the reasoning and what factored in, but it’s just simple: this is where I wanted to play basketball.”
Durant also discussed the aftermath of his decision, which led him to stay confined to his home for two days due to his fear of the public's reaction:
“The two days afterward, I didn’t leave my bed, because I was like, man, if I walk outside, somebody might just try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me,” he said. “I just thought people would react to me a little differently. I never had this much attention, and so many people who probably don’t even watch basketball came up to me and told me, ‘Congratulations. Good luck going forward.’ It’s crazy how big our game has gotten. The reach that it has is amazing.”However, Durant ultimately decided to ignore what the critics might say, and made his selection based strictly upon what he wanted and what he felt was best for himself:
“I just stayed in. I was just trying to process it all,” Durant said. “I wanted to be around family and positive support. I felt different obviously. I mean, I’ve been somewhere for so long, and then to make a change like that that nobody knew was coming and nobody thought I would do, of course I didn’t know how I’d be received afterwards. But at some point, I just said, ‘Look man. Life goes on. Life moves on. I can’t hide forever.’ So I just had to face it.
“I can’t make a decision on my life because everybody else is going to be upset about it. I just told myself to put me first and really think about what I wanted, and this is what I wanted. We’ll see what happens.”
Photo: Getty Images Danielle Hobeika 7/19/2016 07:00:00 AM Tweet Edit