The Golden State Warriors realized they needed to give Kevin Durant some space following his Nov. 12 altercation with Draymond Green.
“I just try to stay focused on ball and lose myself in the game,” Durant told The Athletic. “There were times where I don’t shoot the ball well, times where the game doesn’t go my way, but I try to get lost in the game to get through a time like that. Adversity happens everywhere, happens to teams, and we rallied around it. It happens, and you lean on your love for the game.
“Over the course of the year, sometimes it’s tough to go to practice, tough stretches on long road trips. You run into obstacles and you just get through it.”
Durant's old coaches and friends told him to focus on his work.
“People I lean on told me to stay centerfield with my thoughts and my feelings,” Durant explained. “I received so many people reaching out; my former coaches saying to stay centered, stay measured, stay pushing forward and keeping my foot on the gas. At that time, we were losing games, and people were banged up, so it’s easy to go the other way when you’re searching for answers. It was about staying positive and going to work.
“As players, we’re artists. How we express ourselves is on the basketball court. When you’ve played ball so long for so much, it’s about continuing to find ways to express myself verbally instead of always using the basketball court. Every ballplayer speaks and tells you what they’ve been through through how they play on the basketball court. That’s the beauty of the game, what I’m in love with.
“I like basketball 100 percent. The other (expletive) is aight.”