Kevin Durant made an appearance on Bill Simmons’ HBO show Any Given Wednesday this week, and he covered a variety of topics, namely his move to the Warriors and his relationship with Russell Westbrook. He also had some insightful things to say about competition, in general.
“When you step in between the lines, it’s like that’s when we compete,” Durant said. “That’s when we’re gonna go at each other, that’s when I’m gonna do what I do in my zone, and that’s when you’re gonna do what you do. But I don’t carry that with me as soon as I step off the court. I don’t care about you that much to try and wanna hate you, you hear what I mean? I hear all the time that Michael [Jordan] hated such and such, that Isaiah [Thomas] hated such and such. I’m not thinking about you at home when I’m on my couch, for me to hate you that much. That’s just not who I am, but when we play, I’m not even thinking about you. I’m worried about how I’m gonna dominate.”
Given the way Jordan’s (and Kobe Bryant’s) borderline sociopathic tendencies have been mythologized over the years, it’s a rather refreshing take on how he approaches his opponents. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean Durant isn’t an absolutely ruthless competitor. He just doesn’t happen to take things personally the way some players do.