Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors was all about business. Sure, he broke plenty of hearts in Oklahoma City, and possibly ended his brotherhood with Russell Westbrook, but he ultimately had to do what was best for him. Most people believe that means joining a borderline-dynasty roster so the road to his first NBA title is already paved for him, but some of his fiercest critics believe he shouldn’t have joined the team that beat him. Instead, he should have joined the team that already beat them.
At least that’s how Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder felt when his team threw everything, including the kitchen sink and Tom Brady, at Durant. Durant was either staying in Oklahoma City or he’d be wearing Celtic green. Crowder was, of course, wrong. He was also very upset.
“We were the only team in the NBA to beat both (Cleveland and Golden State) on their home court — the only team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics,” Crowder said. “We told him that. We played him clips from both games and told him basically the scouting report of how we guarded Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) — our game plan, basically. That’s what made me mad. We (expletive) told him everything we do to beat these guys, and we beat them, and he went and joined them. I mean, that’s part of the process, but I did not think he would go to those two teams … I felt like afterward, I was talking to Isaiah, like maybe after you sit back, you shouldn’t have told him everything, but who the (expletive) thought he was going to Golden State, realistically? It was like a slap in the face for us, basically.” (Via MassLive)
Crowder also called the Warriors “the villains” of the league and claimed that his NBA friends were “disgusted” by Durant’s decision. But what can they do, other than try to stop Golden State from winning it all? The Warriors are 9-2, with Durant and Stephen Curry both averaging over 27 points per game. They may not be perfect (yet), but the Warriors are still just as dominating as they were last season, and if they’re still improving … that’s pretty scary.
The Celtics, meanwhile, are 6-5 and host the Warriors Friday night at the TD Garden. Is there still bad blood between Celtics players and Durant? Isaiah Thomas joked with reporters after Wednesday’s win over Dallas: “Jae still might be mad. But I’m past it.” Knowing NBA fans, though, there will be boos when Durant takes the court, but it won’t affect him (possibly because he knows most of them are not ghosts).
“What can they be mad about?” Durant asked. “I never played there. I never said I was going there. They’re going to support their team. It’s one of the best fan bases in the league — top five, easily — so no matter who goes in there, they’re going to boo them. But I have no attachment to Boston at all.” (Via the Boston Herald)
Hell, that probably doesn’t help his cause much, but what fun is a blossoming rivalry if irrational fans don’t make a superstar athlete know how much they hate him?