Kevin Durant has had a fascinating offseason, from taking a shot at Steph Curry's signature shoes to allegedly using secret social media accounts to taking shots at his former organization, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And it hasn't gone unnoticed by his current franchise, the Golden State Warriors.
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, "Many in Golden State, team officials and players alike, have taken note of Durant's oddball offseason and are perplexed by it. They see a bright future for Durant in Oakland, league and team sources told The Vertical, and are bewildered as to why he is still addressing his past."
Durant's interesting summer really began in July 2016, when he left the Thunder in free agency. That made him public enemy No. 1 in Oklahoma City and a divisive figure among NBA fans, with one faction claiming Durant took the "if you can't beat him, join him" approach to pursuing a championship and the other arguing Durant should be commended for trying to win titles and joining an organization he believed in.
Durant got his title and was named the NBA Finals MVP in the process. He averaged 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game during the regular season, fitting in seamlessly with Golden State's core of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. That core is expected to compete for titles for many years.
But this summer has been an interesting one for the superstar.
He claimed on an August episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, that "Nobody wants to play in Under Armours," the brand that Curry endorses. He also emblazoned his own signature Nike shoes with insults that have been levied at him in the past:
And this past week, he insulted his former coach, Billy Donovan, and his former teammates on Twitter, writing in the third person:
He also apologized for making the comments after the conference:
"I played a little too much, and that (expletive) really hurt me. To know that I affected Billy Donovan and the Thunder—like I love those people and I don’t never (want to hurt them).
"That was just me being a total (expletive) idiot. I own up to it. I want to move on from it. It probably hit me probably harder than what everybody (thought). Everybody else was telling me to relax, to snap out of it, but I was really, really upset with myself more than anything. It’s not the fact that people were talking about me, because I deserve that, but I’m just more upset with myself that I let myself go that far, you know what I was saying? It was a joke to me at first. I was doing it all summer, and it went too deep. I went too hard… I haven’t slept in two days, two nights. I haven't ate. It’s crazy, because I feel so (expletive) pissed at myself and I’m mad that I brought someone into it."
Regardless of Durant's odd summer, of course, the Warriors remain the prohibitive favorites to win a title, and Durant remains one of the three or four best players in the NBA. The outside noise wasn't a major distraction for him last season. His words this summer will only become a long-term concern for the Warriors if they continue and become a distraction.