Per The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater:
No surprises here—especially knowing Durant preceded that comment with this gem:
If Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder were postseason participants, he would have every reason to tune in and watch the race for an NBA title unfold. But they're not.
This marks the first time since 2009 that Oklahoma City won't be part of the Association's spring fling. That has to hit home for Durant, an MVP winner and all-around ferocious competitor.
To make matters worse, it didn't have to be this way.
Injuries left Oklahoma City clinging to eighth-place hope, which the New Orleans Pelicans stamped out in their 108-103 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. And if not for the extended absences of Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook and Durant himself, things would have been different.
Through the 27 games Durant, Ibaka and Westbrook appeared in together, the Thunder were 18-9, according to NBA.com. Take that winning percentage and prorate it for an 82-game season, and they would have collected 54 or 55 victories—enough to win the Northwest Division and the No. 4 seed it guarantees.
Instead of worrying about their first-round foe, Durant and the Thunder now look to the future and all the uncertainty it holds. As CBS Sports' Zach Harper writes:
This failure of sorts leaves the Thunder regrouping after bolstering their roster with trades during the regular season. They made their bench deeper and younger. They'll have the opportunity to re-sign Enes Kanter in restricted free agency, making him the Sixth Man to pair next to either Steven Adams or Serge Ibaka. They already have 13 players under roster, will be blitzing the luxury tax with salary commitments, and they have a lottery pick to go with this summer.
It sets them up for a real run at an NBA championship in the final year of Durant's current deal with the Thunder. When he hits free agency in the summer of 2016, the Thunder will have a young, diverse roster along with a bigger contract than any other team can give him to sway Durant to remain the leader of this organization. As long as this team is healthy, they should be the contending team we expected them to be heading into this season.
Irrespective of what the Thunder might say, Durant's upcoming free agency in 2016 is a big deal. The only way for them to make it a non-issue is to win. Give Durant a championship, and he's much more likely, if not a surefire lock, to stay.
The thing is, after missing the playoffs this season, the Thunder have just one last shot to make his free agency irrelevant, putting even more pressure on them to make the most of 2015-16.
No wonder Durant won't be watching the playoffs. They're a reminder of where he and the Thunder are supposed to be but aren't. They're a harbinger of how far away he is from his first championship.
Then again, perhaps he's lying. Maybe he won't be able to resist watching the league-lording Golden State Warriors, or the playoff version of Anthony Davis, or the MVP-worthy adaptation of former teammate James Harden.
Whatever Durant decides to do, remember that we are not bound by the same rules. Playoff basketball is upon us, to which we, unlike Durant, have every reason to say, "Hell yes."