LAS VEGAS — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant said Thursday that he has grown tired of people telling him what to do and how he should ignore criticism and then portraying his reactions as those of an insecure or angry player.
One day after Durant and Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum went back and forth on Twitter — an exchange that stemmed from a conversation they had on McCollum’s podcast, “Pull Up with CJ McCollum” — Durant said he and McCollum are fine and that he even plans to have wine with him soon.
But Durant says the media and aggregators have often made him look like “the sensitive one” just because he often says how he feels.
“Oh yeah,” Durant, speaking after USA Basketball practice, said when asked if he is tired of people telling him to be quiet. “I mean, it is just to the point that I know what you’re upset at. Just say it instead of make excuses. Know what I’m saying? I got too many texts or I talk too much on Instagram or I talk too much on Twitter or I don’t know how to talk to my teammates, or I am angry or insecure or sensitive. Tell me what the real problem is.
“Because every time I say something, I go about my business, and when I say something, House of Highlights and Bleacher Report [mash] it all up and y’all run with it, and as soon as I say something back, I’m the sensitive one. I mean, I know y’all trying to make me look crazy and discredit me and strip me of my credibility. But I see what you doing. But I’m going to still keep standing.”
Durant has had to defend his decision to join Golden State since first signing there two years ago, and it again was a topic of discussion on McCollum’s podcast. McCollum had said in the past that he didn’t think Durant should have left Oklahoma City as a free agent and gone to Golden State. During the podcast earlier this month, the two laughed when McCollum said he also didn’t want to see DeMarcus Cousins join Golden State as a free agent this offseason.
Durant told McCollum not to worry about that, adding: “You know you’re not going to win a championship.”
On Wednesday, McCollum, replying to a tweet from a Barstool Sports host about Durant, called Durant’s decision “soft” but added, “I respect it,” likening it to getting jumped with your brothers by a gang and then leaving your brothers for that same gang.
Durant responded by tweeting, “U think that low of me CJ? I just did your f—in podcast. Snakes in the grass boy I tell ya.”
McCollum later tweeted that there’s “no feud” between the two and that he’s done talking about Durant.
“This is not East Coast-West Coast beef,” Durant said Thursday. “CJ, I am going to have some wine with him in New York when he gets back from China and take a picture if you all really don’t believe me.”
Portland’s Damian Lillard listened to the podcast and does not think any of this is “such a big deal.”
“I heard them going back and forth,” Lillard said after Team USA’s practice. “It sounded like they were joking, they both were laughing, so I really didn’t think much of it. Then when I went on Twitter, I was just like, all right, maybe they need to just — they got each other’s phone number. They don’t got to go on Twitter, call each other and get it off y’all chest.
“It ain’t got to be on Twitter, because everybody’s going to make this big thing about it and try to pin them against each other. People love drama, and it ain’t got to be all that.”
Durant said he has grown weary of the way people have been “running with” the things he has said.
“If I got something to say, if I am getting mad because I say something and then you catch feelings, I call you out on it and [then] I am [portrayed as] the sensitive one,” Durant said. “I am insecure and all these [other labels] … everybody running with it.
“Now people come up to me and say, ‘Damn, man, I didn’t know you were so cool,’ when they meet me in person. Why? Because what y’all said. But that goes for everybody around here. Y’all say s— about him, they don’t say nothing, and they just keep on adding on, but I am the one. I just talk, I say how I feel. But I guess I’m the bad guy.”