With a full week off before the start of The Finals, Kevin Durant was reflective in an interview with The Vertical.
Durant was asked to describe what his first season with the Golden state Warriors has meant to him.
"It was definitely a different year. I mean, I never felt under a microscope this much," said Durant. "I never felt … how can I put it? I never felt this many people just waiting on me to [mess] up. Whether it’s on the court, off the court, waiting on something. But it’s fun, because it’s been cool proving a lot of people wrong, individually. I mean, obviously, we have a long way to go as a team. But I just feel like I’m still the same the person. I work extremely hard. I know a lot of people say I cheated my way … or I skipped steps, or cheated the game. I work hard, bro. I work hard. I really take my craft seriously. If I didn’t do that then I would understand. But I love the game, I love playing for my teammates. And I just enjoy playing the game. That’s one thing I didn’t want people to steal from me, from hearing all types of things about who I am, why I did this, why I did that, how I changed. I didn’t want to take joy away from what’s in between those lines. That’s what’s important. I think this year has taught me to stay focused on what’s really important, in basketball and life in general. It’s a major lesson that I learned. I didn’t think it would take for this to happen for me to realize that."
Durant was asked how the move to the Warriors has played out for his game as it seems like his points come easier now.
"Uh, yeah. Obviously, when you’ve got a better, when you’ve got a deeper team, you’ve got guys that can handle the ball, you’ve got shooters, you’ve got guys that can finish at the rim, it just opens it up for everybody. I think we just work well together. I scored a lot of points before I came here. I did a lot. This is not the first time I shot 50 percent from the field. It’s not the first year I averaged 25 points a game. And I’m not doing it because I’m here with these guys. I’ve done it before. It’s just the fact that when I get my shots – and it’s not as much as I got before – but I’m in position to be efficient. I may get in transition a lot more than I did before. I may get it in space more, so I’m allowed to catch and make a decision whether I want to shoot or drive. Simple stuff like that, that’s the difference. But I had some great years before I got here. It’s just a different way I’m getting my points now. It’s not much of a grind. But it’s still a challenge."
Durant was also what winning a ring would mean to him.
"It wouldn’t mean my life was complete. I’ve got a lot of life I want to lead and I’ve got a lot of [expletive] I want to achieve. So if I win a ring, it would be fun to experience that moment when the buzzer sounds and embracing my teammates in the locker room and all that stuff that comes with it, but after that, what’s next? That’s how I look at it. What’s next for me? But it’s that high. It’s that two-, three-week high, I can tell. You can tell when teams win a championship. I saw last year, the Cavs, they all went to Vegas, they all hung out in Vegas for a night. But that two-week high, I want to experience that, but it’s not going to complete me at all, as far as being a person or what life is all about. At the end of the day, it’s going to be another basketball milestone that I reach, if it happens. We’ll see. But if I don’t do it, I’m not going to ball up in my room and not come out. I’m going to work on my game and enjoy myself."