It’s safe to say Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Thunder and join the Warriors was the biggest story of the NBA off-season. As the preseason winds down, there has been no shortage of critics.
Future Hall of Famer and occasionally grumpy old man Paul Pierce was among them on Thursday, telling SiriusXM in an interview that he didn’t love Durant’s choice to join the defending Western Conference champs.
Draymond Green spoke up in defense of Durant later Thursday, in an extended response to reporters, making an analogy between athletes and CEOs.
“I just wonder at what point do they get bored talking about the same thing,” Green said, according to Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News. “You got all these guys talking. Like (Paul) Pierce today, like, dude, nobody care what you did or who you did it for. Just give it a break. Everybody got something to say and want to take everything he say and twist it.
“...Nobody complain when somebody leave Apple and go to Google. Aren’t they in competition with each other? Nobody talk junk about the CEO who leaves Apple and goes to Google. As a basketball player, you are the CEO of a business. You are a business. Kevin Durant is a big business. He is the CEO of that business. So him going to play basketball for a different team, the CEO decided to leave where he was at and go somewhere else.
“But there’s so many guys in this league that are so stupid they don’t think like that. They don’t think business-wise. It happens every day in the world, but in basketball it’s a problem. Aren’t you competitive in your day job if you work for Apple? Don’t you want to outdo Google? What’s the different on the basketball court. It’s your day job. You want to do what’s better for you. If it’s better for your family life, better for your happiness. Ain’t no one criticizing them. I don’t understand it. I’ll never understand it. So that’s just me. And I’d be willing to bet my salary ain’t many guys in this league more competitive than me.”
Pierce’s earlier comments to reporters were as follows:
“I could have left Boston years ago but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you're that close as a competitor, you don't go join the team that just pushed you out. That's just me personally but we're living in a day and time where there's a new generation. Guys I don't think they are as hungry or competitive as my generation was, and that's why you'll probably see more of that.”
There was added Durant controversy on Thursday after Russell Westbrook responded to comments he made praising his new Warriors teammates.
Get ready for a lot more Durant talk. 82 games to go. And the playoffs. And the rest of our collective lives.
- Jeremy Woo