Kevin Durant surveyed the massive media scrum, laughed and shook his head before taking a seat before his awaiting throng. The interview area resembled something like a cattle stampede in a discotheque, packed beyond belief, and featuring more swinging elbows than a 1980s playoff game. He then held court on his All-Star performance and other Thunder matters. What he declined to discuss was the media itself, a frequent topic of his recent interviews.
On Saturday, reigning MVP Durant had a harsh assessment of the media, in response to a question about Scott Brooks’ job status. "You guys really don't know s---," Durant told reporters.
He elaborated on that with such statements as, "To be honest, man, I'm only here talking to y'all because I have to. So I really don't care. Y'all not my friends." Durant also spoke of a new candor, saying, “I am not going to sit here and tell you that I am just this guy that is programmed to say the right stuff all the time and [give] politically correct answers. I am done with that.”
On Sunday after an All-Star Game in which he scored three points, the superstar small forward did not quite kick off a new, more politically incorrect era. He did, however, credit his teammate. When asked what his main issue is regarding the media, Durant said, "I'm just happy Russell Westbrook won MVP. That's what I'm all about. I'm glad [he’s] bringing that home to Oklahoma City."
Rick Fox announced during the game that the NBA had credentialed 1,800 people for these festivities, something the league is presumably happy about. Given New York’s size and media presence, the All-Star media areas were especially crowded.
Durant has yet to cite crowding as the source of his Saturday rant, though he did mention the general hoopla of the event, saying, “Everybody comes here so as a player you have to be prepared to make your rounds and everything, but coming on the court, playing the game is where we get our peace at.”
Durant seems to be seeking an oasis in an unusually difficult Oklahoma City season. When asked how he blocks records and standings out of his mind as the Thunder hunt for a playoff spot, he said, "I'm just not listening to the outside noise."