Thunder's Sam Presti on Kevin Durant: 'Nothing but Positive Things to Say'September 26, 2019
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti spoke positively of Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant when asked about the former OKC forward Thursday.
According to ESPN's Royce Young, Presti said: "If there is anything Kevin Durant ever, ever needed from me or anyone here, it would be a moment's notice for that to happen. ... I have nothing but positive things to say about his tenure here."
Young's comments came after Durant made some disparaging remarks about Oklahoma City and the Thunder franchise in an interview with J.R. Moehringer of WSJ Magazine earlier this month.
Durant told Moehringer he'll "never be attached to that city again" because of the way Oklahoma City fans treated him after he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016.
He also suggested those within the Thunder organization turned their backs on him after he left:
"Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena. And just the organization, the trainers, and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain't talking to me? I'm like 'Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team? ...
"I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don't trust nobody there. That s--t must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain't talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left."
There was clearly no love lost for Durant in OKC after he left, especially during the 2016-17 season, as he was booed loudly upon his return to the city.
Even so, the decision to sign with the Warriors paid dividends for Durant, as he reached the NBA Finals in all three seasons with the team and won two championships and two NBA Finals MVP Awards.
His tenure in Golden State didn't end ideally, as a torn Achilles knocked him out of the 2019 NBA Finals, but there is seemingly a greater sense of appreciation for Durant among Warriors fans than Thunder fans despite the fact that he left Golden State as well and signed with Brooklyn during the offseason.
The fact that Durant signed with the Warriors shortly after they eliminated the Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals may have played a role in how upset the OKC fanbase was. As well, KD was never able to deliver a championship to Oklahoma City.
The Thunder are without a title since moving to OKC from Seattle in 2008. After trading both Paul George and Russell Westbrook during the offseason, they seem poised to enter a rebuild that could preclude them from playoff contention over the next few years.
Meanwhile, Durant will look to bring the Nets their first championship in Brooklyn once he recovers from his Achilles injury.