Brooklyn's Kevin Durant causes stir by claiming titles no longer drive him
Ever heard the saying, "Actions speak louder than words"?
The Los Angeles Lakers went into the Brooklyn Nets' house on Saturday and trounced them 126-101 as Kevin Durant continued to work his way back from a hamstring injury, posting 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes.
But the story of the night was not the game itself but Durant's comments following the loss.
"Once I won a championship [with the Golden State Warriors], I realized that, like, my view on this game is really about development. Like, how good can I be? It's not about, you know, let's go get this championship. I appreciate that stuff, and I want to win to experience that stuff, but it's not the end-all, be-all of why I play the game."
Durant's statement has pundits scratching their heads as they wonder if he means what he said.
Shannon Sharpe called Durant's bluff, arguing that KD's winning résumé has tainted his view on all the accolades he has earned.
"It's easy for him to say that now because he has that luxury of having those titles, having those Finals MVPs on his résumé. So if he accomplishes nothing in his life, he has that. ... Durant doesn't look at it the same because he has those titles. What he found out is that the titles did not give him the validation that he thought it would."
Durant is in his 14th NBA season after spending time with the Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He won a pair of rings with Golden State and is one of just six players to win back-to-back NBA Finals MVP awards, joining Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O'Neal.
Durant was also named regular-season MVP in 2014.
His résumé is about the length of a CVS receipt, as he is a nine-time All-NBA Selection, 11-time All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Durant has been dominant since the beginning of his career, winning 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year with the Seattle SuperSonics. He is the youngest player in NBA history to win a scoring title (21 years, 197 days), which occurred in 2010 with the Thunder. Now he's a four-time NBA scoring champion and one of eight players in league history to win three consecutive scoring titles.
With all the awards comes attention, and Skip Bayless believes this is just Durant's way of seeking more.
"He's still that guy, and he's going to be that guy down the stretch for this team. But he lost me when he said, 'My priority now is just to see how good I can be.' I mean, it's the anti-Tom Brady. ... to me, he's just speaking to speak. He knows it'll play well ... He'll trend."
Durant is no stranger to attention both on and off the court. He recently got into a tiff with actor and comedian Michael Rapaport, which involved messages between the two that were shared on social media.
Prior to that, Durant made news by responding to comments made by Golden State coach Steve Kerr.
Durant's franchise-hopping moves have Colin Cowherd doubting the notion that he isn't chasing glory.
"That's funny because your actions are kind of different. ... You went there to win championships. That was your actions. ... You keep bouncing around to places to win championships. ... Why didn't you go to Brooklyn by yourself if it was all about personal growth?"
This season, Durant is averaging 28.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists in his first active season with the Nets after missing all of the previous one while recovering from an Achilles injury.
However, he has had a hard time staying on the court, missing 23 games this season because of a hamstring injury. He isn't the only one bitten by the injury bug, as he, Kyrie Irving and James Harden have appeared in only seven games together this season and none since a Feb. 13 win at Golden State.
The Nets are 5-2 in those seven games, and since Harden’s first game with the team, Brooklyn owns a 29-11 record (third in the NBA in that span) and an offensive rating of 118.1 (also third).
Durant might say he isn't motivated by winning titles, but he has positioned himself nicely to win his third this season with the Nets' loaded roster.
Those actions are speaking, KD.
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