Kevin Durant and Team USA walloped China, 106-57, in an exhibition game at Staples Center in preparation for the Rio Olympics on Sunday night, but the juiciest story wasn’t the final score.
Instead, the biggest news is how fans in Los Angeles reacted to Kevin Durant, and to a lesser extent, Draymond Green. Despite the fact that they were playing as representatives of America, Durant and Green still got the boo birds from the crowd during introductions.
This is perhaps a little surprising considering it was a Team USA game, but by signing with Golden State, Durant knew he was going to be booed wherever he goes that isn’t Oakland (Mark Cuban may even call him a villain). Steph Curry previously assured everyone the Warriors would be able to handle the hate, and these exhibition contests serve as KD’s first chances to do so after not being criticized at all face-to-face after his decision.
Fortunately for Warriors fans, it appears as though he passed the test, as he told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne he didn’t even hear the boos from the crowd.
“I did? Huh,” Durant said of being booed. “I didn’t hear it.”
Warriors GM Bob Myers definitely did, though, and theorized it was bitter Clippers fans who are upset Durant didn’t sign with them.
“I think it’s Clipper fans because they cheered DeAndre [Jordan],” Myers said. “That’s just my guess.”
Regardless of whether Durant is lying about having heard the jeers from the LA faithful, it didn’t at all affect his performance on the court as he led Team USA with 19 points in the win. Certainly, that is a good sign for anyone worried Durant was going to let the negativity of opposing fans get in his head next season.