Kevin Durant feels it’s time for the Celtics and their fans to just get over it.
There have been few courtships in the history of the NBA like the pursuit of Kevin Durant this past offseason. And while the Celtics locked down a solid player in the frontcourt in Al Horford, questions still remained.
Why didn’t Durant choose Boston? Why wasn’t Tom Brady enough in the Hamptons? What went wrong? Why can’t Boston draw top free agents?
The Celtics put everything they had into Durant, who instead elected to join the force that is the Golden State Warriors. What ensued in Boston was frustration, and in Jae Crowder’s case, a few off the cuff remarks.
This Friday will mark the first time Durant faces off against the C’s as a member of the Warriors. For Durant, it was just business.
“Nah, it don’t bother me,” Durant said of Crowder’s comments to ESPN.com’s Chris Haynes. “All these guys that you ask the same questions, you know what you’re going to get from them. So you’re [asking] the same questions. Why am I going to be mad about a guy who has an opinion? I respect all these players. If they don’t respect what I did, I can’t control that.”‘
“I got nothing but love and respect for Jae Crowder and how he approaches the game and how he plays, but we disagree on me coming here,” Durant said. “That’s just how it is. It’s all good. We’re going to compete no matter what. That’s one thing — you can say a lot of stuff in the media or wherever you are, but we’re going to compete when we’re in between the lines. That doesn’t change anything.”
Durant acknowledged the logic of the frustration of the players and fans, but brings up a valid point — he never actually played in Boston, and he never said he was going to play in Boston.
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“What can they be mad about?” he said. “I never played there. I never said I was going there. But 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.”
For the Celtics, they’re past the decision, happy with where they’re at now, with maybe one exception.
“Nah, I’ve been past that. Maybe for Jae, Jae still might be mad but I’m past it,” Isaiah Thomas quipped when asked about any leftover animosity towards Durant.
He also lightheartedly added that he’s “not getting [his] hopes up” to see Durant in green this time next year if he decides to opt-out of his contract, thus utilizing his player option for year two of his contract.
The Celtics have every intent of treating Friday like any other game, but with the history between the two teams of late and the Warriors 9-2 start, even Thomas couldn’t hide that it’s going to be an intense game.
“It’s a good one,” Thomas said. “This is what you live for, this is what you want, to play against the so-called best team in the NBA. And we’ll be ready though, we’ve always been good about these games, we’ve just got to do our job, worry about what we do and protect our home court.”