The first part of this storyline is the star forward's relationship with Avery Bradley, who decided not to partake in the immense recruiting that took place over the summer. The two both went to the University of Texas, and although Durant had a few years on Bradley, they spent a lot of time together as roommates while Durant was already in the pros:
Bradley...remembers well living with Durant and three other guys in a two-bedroom apartment one summer. They worked out every morning, ate breakfast together. "We did everything together," Bradley said. "Man, we have some funny memories."
Bradley grew great respect for Durant, and the feelings are mutual:
Knowing this, it's surprising that Bradley was not a bigger part of the Celtics' recruiting process for Durant. He didn't even attend the Hamptons meeting with teammates Isaiah Thomas, Kelly Olynyk, Jae Crowder, and Marcus Smart. After talking with MassLive.com's Jay King, Bradley seems to have too much respect for KD to let basketball get in the way of their close relationship:
"He's my brother," Bradley said. "I want the best for him. I wanted to play with him, but he's my family. We talk about family stuff."
"We would love to play with each other. I would love to play with KD," Bradley said. "But at the same time I want the best for him. And I think the move that he made was good for KD. I didn't (care). Who cares, man? It's more than just that. I want him to be happy because he's a really good person."
The other development from Friday night was how C's fans were going to respond to Kevin Durant. The fact that Boston was one of the three final teams that KD was considering for his landing spot was a major tease to Celtics fans, but his decision to go to an already-dominant team only rubbed salt into the fresh wound. Telegram.com's Bill Doyle recalled Durant's thoughts on the Celtics meeting:
"I met with them," Durant said of the Celtics, "and they were really good, and I was really impressed by it. It's hard for me to say how close each team was. I'm not even going to go into that, but they were really impressive."
Doyle proceeded to discover that Durant didn't realize that there were any mad Boston fans:
"What can they be mad at?" Durant said before the Warriors breezed past the Celtics, 104-88. “I never played there. I never said I was going there. They’re going to support their team. It’s one of the best fan bases in the league. Top five, easily. So no matter who goes in there, they’re going to boo them. But I have no attachment to Boston at all."
Many fans who filled the TD Garden on Friday night still clearly felt salty about Durant's move, wearing green "Durant is a b***h" shirts and booing him. He likely didn't see any of the shirts, but this is what he thought of the booing:
“I didn’t even care,” Durant said after the game.
Did Kerr find the booing to be vicious?
“Nah, it was half-hearted,” Kerr insisted. “It was just the beer talking.”
“Boston fans are very passionate,” said Klay Thompson, who scored a game-high 28 points. “It doesn’t matter what sport. They love their Celtics and they might have felt like he spurned them, but that's OK. They’re passionate and it’s fun playing in an atmosphere like that and I’m sure KD enjoys it.”
I want to assume that fans were booing Durant for choosing the Warriors, not for passing on the Celtics. I personally think we should be grateful that he even gave us the time to meet with him. He owed us nothing, yet stilled strongly considered coming here. That being said, I understand if people wanted to boo him because they didn't respect his decision to join a squad that had already gone to back-to-back Finals. That would be a little different.
Either way, Durant still had nice things to say about Boston and his former housemate Avery Bradley. He respects the atmosphere and passion surrounding Celtic basketball despite getting booed throughout the game. Maybe there is still a little hope that he comes next summer?! Well, maybe not if he gets a hold of those vulgar Durant t-shirts that were being sold outside of TD Garden...
Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32
Photo by NBA.com
Erik Johnson 11/19/2016 01:54:00 PM Tweet Edit