Kevin Durant sets the record straight.
Kevin Durant spoke with the press for the first time since May 8th, back when he was diagnosed with the strained calf injury that kept him out of the Conference Finals. While he openly admits that he's "doing better every day" over the course of a discretionary rehab process, he and the Warriors still haven't mapped out a timeline for his return.
It didn't take long for KD's already contentious relationship with the media to rear into gear. At the mere suggestion, his Warriors' teammates were better off without him, KD waved his finger in disagreement. "That's not facts," he filed in response to those claims, prompting a spirited lesson in perspective-taking.
"It's been that way since I got here," said Durant. "It's been that way since I got here -- 'It's the Warriors and KD.' I understand that and I felt like my teammates and the organization know exactly what I've done here off and on the court to become a part of this culture, stamp my flag in this culture and this organization. ... I know what I bring to the team, but I also know a lot of people on the outside don't like to see us together, and I get it."
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KD then turned his attention to a reporter's misuse of the pronoun "they" in describing the Warriors' run of form. "It's hard to get away from that because I watch the game, and you watch the lead-up to the games, and that's all everybody is talking about," Durant said as he re-engaged with this bunk narrative of his teammates performing better without him.
"My perspective is just, like, I want to focus on rehab, but I also want to be a fan of my teammates. I want to enjoy my teammates from a different view. A lot of those guys sit in a chair and cheer for the rest of the guys, the starting guys, and now I get an opportunity to do the same thing," he continued. "I turn on the TV, and since I can't travel with the team, all I hear is the noise."
Regardless of what the local press might cook up in the interim, the Warriors are clearly a more potent team with arguably the league's best player slotted in their lineup. Should he become available in the coming days-week, Steph Curry and company will undoubtedly welcome him back with open arms. The Golden State Warriors await the victor of the Eastern Conference finals - of which Game 6 is being staged tonight in Toronto. Hedge your bets.