Boston presented a creative pitch at The Hamptons outside New York that included its players and management and the assistance of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Celtics were one of six teams to meet with the seven-time All-Star during his free agency, but Durant ultimately chose the Warriors -- and that ticked off some individuals in the Massachusetts area.
"What can they be mad about?" Durant said Wednesday night, when asked about how the Celtics faithful might receive him Friday. "I never played there. I never said I was going there. But they're going to support their team. It's one of the best fan bases in the league -- top-five, easily. So no matter who goes in there, they're going to boo them. But I have no attachment to Boston at all."
One of those individuals who was clearly annoyed was Celtics forward Jae Crowder.
"We were the only team in the NBA to beat [Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers] on their home court. The only team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics," Crowder told MassLive.com three weeks after Durant's decision. "We told him that. We played him clips from both games and told him basically the scouting report of how we guarded Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] -- our entire game plan, basically. That's what made me mad. We f---ing told him everything we do to beat these guys, and we beat them, and he went and joined them.
"Afterward, I was talking to Isaiah [Thomas], like maybe after you sit back, [we] shouldn't have told him everything, but who the f--- thought he was going to Golden State, realistically? It was like a slap in the face for us, basically."
Durant was asked if Crowder's comments irked him.
"Nah, it don't bother me," he said. "All these guys that you ask the same questions, you know what you're going to get from them. So you're [asking] the same questions. Why am I going to be mad about a guy who has an opinion? I respect all these players. If they don't respect what I did, I can't control that."
"No, I've been past that. Maybe for Jae," Thomas said with a smile. "Jae still might be mad. But I'm past it."
Asked about his initial reaction to Durant's decision, Thomas said, "I was just surprised. Probably like everybody else. I wasn't mad. I knew we had a chance -- we had a pretty good chance at that. I was just surprised he chose the Warriors, but that's that man's decision."
It is unknown whether Crowder and Durant will meet Friday. Crowder has missed the past seven games with a left ankle injury.
If Crowder is a go for the game, Durant will respectfully welcome the challenge of competing against him -- and anybody else in green and white.
"I got nothing but love and respect for Jae Crowder and how he approaches the game and how he plays, but we disagree on me coming here," Durant said. "That's just how it is. It's all good. We're going to compete no matter what. That's one thing -- you can say a lot of stuff in the media or wherever you are, but we're going to compete when we're in between the lines. That doesn't change anything."
Friday's game will be broadcast on ESPN.
ESPN staff writer Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.