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When the Supersonics became the Thunder, Kevin Durant and members of his family also relocated to Oklahoma City. As a member of the Thunder, KD embraced the community. He even donated a million dollars to help rebuild the city after a devastating tornado. KD loved OKC so much that he contemplating retiring there once his NBA career was over.
All of that changed when he decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. "People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood," Durant told Wall Street Journal, reflecting on the unsavory events that immediately came to pass. "People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names."
This blatant disrespect hit its peak with a video of fans showering his jersey with bullets. KD says that clip changed his perception of the city. "I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that," KD told the WSJ. "I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That shit must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left."
This reaction is starkly different from the one KD received when he left Golden State. Instead of fans burning or defacing his jersey, they thanked Durant for helping them win more championships. Steph Curry even boarded a plane to New York City where KD was recovering from his Achilles surgery to personally extend his gratitude and respect for his decision.
"The three years that we had were special," Curry told USA Today when asked about Durant's departure. "With KD, we had three straight Finals appearances. We won two of them, and we accomplished a lot as a group. ... The beauty of free agency is everybody has a decision, everybody has a choice. You want to find your happiness wherever that is."
Yet KD understands that fans may never view him as part of the Warriors' foundation. "I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted," Durant explains. "But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there. … Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles."
Durant is now looking to find the "happiness" Curry mentioned by forging his own path in Brooklyn. Although he has to sit out a year while he rehabs his recently repaired Achilles, KD and new teammate Kyrie Irving will try to balance out the league and bring the Nets a championship once he returns to the court.
While the antics of fans has turned him into a nomadic superstar, KD appreciates at least one opposing fanatic. During the NBA Finals, Drake antagonized both KD and Curry in hopes to give his Raptors a leg up in the series. Although some people and players thought Drake's behavior was over-the-top, Durant didn't have a problem with it. "That’s my brother. I view him as, like, blood," KD said before stating that people need to "reevaluate" themselves if they have an issue with Drake supporting his hometown.