Kevin Durant expounded upon his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors in an interview before training camp with Rolling Stone.
"All my life, I've been a pleaser, put everyone else ahead of me," said Durant.
Durant spoke of how the Thunder kept taking a longer view instead of doing everything possible to win now. Even before his free agency, the Thunder traded away Serge Ibaka in a deal for a player still on his rookie contract in Victor Oladipo, a rookie in Domantas Sabonis and veteran Ersan Ilyasova.
"Where other teams went out and got that veteran guy, we kept getting younger," said Durant.
During the 14-15 season, the Thunder acquired former high lottery picks Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters, who had each depressed their value with their former teams.
"For nine years, he refused to speak a word against that team – he loved those guys and that city," said his mother Wanda Durant. "But this summer he said, 'Mama, I can't do it anymore. They're not in this thing with me, we're not together like we were – I feel like I need something different.' "
Durant and Russell Westbrook were always more work friends than legitimately close.
"We had our own cliques that we hung with on the road," said Durant. "Russell had his guys, I had mine. It was never a bad thing. Just how it was."
After the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead to the Warriors, the team Durant decided to join did the same thing against the Cavaliers.
"It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave," he says, "especially after they blew a lead in the finals, because I damn sure wasn't going there if they'd won. But after Game Seven, I called up my agent and said, 'Damn, dude, Golden State – what if?' "