Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is once again returning to face Thunders at Oklahoma City.
And the small forward believes the fans at OKC Thunder are yet to forgive him for leaving when he was a free agent last summer.
“I had good relationships with everybody there,” Durant told ESPN’s Marc Stein in a SportsCenter sit-down that aired early Thursday after the Warriors’ 123-92 victory over the Chicago Bulls. “I was good to a lot of people, [and] they were great to me.
“No matter what goes on [Saturday night in OKC] — cheers, boos — I know that stuff will be remembered, and it’s something that I’m always going to remember. It’s a new chapter in my life. I’ve decided to move on. I know I’m making it sound as simple as that, but to me, that’s how I have to approach it. It’s just as simple as me moving on and turning a new page in my life. But for them, I know it still hurts for me to move on. They looked at me as their son. I was there since I was 19 years old, and I grew up there. So, like I said, I understand, man. It’s all a part of playing sports. It’s all a part of being a fan, so I embrace it all.”
“I’m looking forward to playing in that atmosphere,” Durant continued. “I’ve always been on — I’m gonna say the other side of the fence — where a lot of people have clapped and cheered for me as I walked out onto the court. So to be on the other side, it’s going to be different, but it should be fun.”
“That’s what makes sports great,” Durant told SportsCenter. “That’s what makes fans a part of the team, a part of the organization. It’s that they’re loyal to their team, they’re loyal to that logo. Players come and go, coaches, GMs, but that logo stands forever. I know how important that is to those fans there in Oklahoma City. I was there. I was there for the first game [in OKC, after the franchise relocated from Seattle]. [I’ve] seen how they sold out every night, no matter how good the team was, no matter who was on the floor. So that means a lot to ’em.
“I know what I did wasn’t a popular choice, but I can respect how hard they ride for their team, how loyal they are to their team and to that logo.”