Steve Kerr defended Kevin Durant's decision to join the Golden State Warriors instead of staying with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Golden State coach also said that their new player should not be portrayed as a "villain" during a radio interview on August 7.
Kerr said that Durant is actually an easy person to get along with. He acknowledged that Durant contributed a lot to his old team but said that it is time to move on. Kerr added that Durant decided to join them because he wants to try something new including moving out of Oklahoma and playing with other players he admires, according to NBA.com.
For his part, Durant told the press that he refrained from going out in public for several days after his decision was announced. Durant feared someone might say something bad to him or worse, physically harm him. Fortunately, he managed to get over his fears and has decided to move on with his life. He is currently playing for the U.S. Men's basketball team in 2016 Rio Olympics, according to an earlier iTech Post report.
The Golden State Warriors and its fans made Durant feel at home in the Oakland Oracle Arena. But that feeling was not mutual in Oklahoma City, according to ESPN. Enraged fans burned several OKC jerseys bearing Durant's number after hearing that he left them for the Golden State.
Several prominent personalities including former NBA player Charles Barkley also aired their disappointment in Durant's decision to switch teams. He praised Durant as a formidable professional basketball player. But Barkley said that Durant's exceptional abilities would be more noticed and appreciated if he stayed with the Thunder team instead. Barkley added that the State Warriors are already full of superstar players anyway.
Kerr said that people are entitled to their own opinion with regards to Durant's signing in with the Golden State Warriors. But they should not assume Durant's personal character on and off the court.