Report: Warriors complained about Thunder being cold to Kevin Durant
Although he’ll be sitting out recovering from a knee injury, Kevin Durant is likely going to be booed once again by fans in Oklahoma City on Monday night. If you ask the Golden State Warriors, the Thunder should be doing a much better job of trying to prevent that.
According to a report from Chris Haynes of ESPN.com, the Warriors were “furious and bewildered” that the Thunder did nothing to ease the tension between Durant and his former team in the days leading up to Durant’s first return to Chesapeake Arena as a visiting player. The Warriors reportedly felt that Oklahoma City Thunder management should have addressed the media and thanked Durant for nine great years with the team.
Here’s more from Haynes:
The Warriors’ belief, according to sources, is that the Thunder’s silence contributed to the raw emotions, outrage and indignation that created an unsettling, hostile atmosphere for a player many consider to be the franchise’s all-time best.
The Warriors felt, according to sources, that for a player who meant so much to a city — a small-market city at that — a courtesy greeting was in order from top brass, who should have issued their fans a reminder and proper perspective on Durant’s role in elevating the Thunder into a perennial championship-contending team.
Durant was not acknowledged or thanked during the Feb. 11 game, but Thunder GM Sam Presti praised Durant in the week leading up to it for “helping to build a culture and identity for a franchise in its infancy stages.”
Haynes notes that Durant was “emotionally drained” after the game and felt the Thunder could have done a better job of handling the situation. Perhaps he simply didn’t want to give Oklahoma City fans the satisfaction when he made these comments after the game.
Durant will likely spend most — if not all — of Monday’s game in the locker room receiving treatment, but we can expect to see more posters and T-shirts like the ones we saw back in February. Even if the Thunder do give Durant some sort of thank you, it’s far too soon to expect fans to give him a warm reception.