Golden State Warriors star forward Kevin Durant said in a Tuesday interview with SportsCenter that he has "been thinking" about Saturday night's highly anticipated return to Oklahoma City "for the last month" and just wants "to experience it [and] see how I feel once that moment comes."
In a SportsCenter sit-down with ESPN's Marc Stein, Durant also insisted that he is prepared for whatever reaction greets him at Chesapeake Energy Arena, saying: "I know what's important [to Thunder fans] and their team is way more important than just one player. ... I'm not going in there acting like I'm going to be praised, I know how it's going to be."
"I know they're going to be rowdy in there, man," Durant told Stein. "I've been a part of some of the loudest nights in that arena. So I know it's not going to be the friendliest welcome, but, like I said, I can't wait to see the people that I really built relationships with over my time there and, you know, I'm sure fans that I got to know throughout my time playing there, even though they might not cheer for me out loud, I'll give 'em a wink and they know what we had deep down inside."
In excerpts of the interview that aired Tuesday night on SportsCenter, Durant also addressed what he refers to as the "fake drama" of the season-long storyline pitting him against former All-Star teammate Russell Westbrook.
"I realized that earlier on in the season," Durant said, explaining his contention that it's "fake drama."
"I was doing an interview with someone and I used the word 'unselfish' to describe my teammates here [with] the Warriors and someone asked Russell the question, asked if he heard what I said about being unselfish and he phrased the question as if I was saying that the Thunder and the organization and the team was selfish. And once I heard that, I was like, 'They are trying to get in between this thing and make it bigger than what it is.'
"Obviously Russell wasn't going to hear that [full] interview I had about me just talking about my teammates I have now and someone in Oklahoma City phrased it to him as if I was calling them selfish. It's that easy. It's that easy for the media to twist something up and for the media, you know, [to] make a feud between us."
An extended version of the conversation will air Wednesday night on SportsCenter after the Warriors play host to the Chicago Bulls.