Before the Golden State Warriors’ 141-102 win over the Spurs last night, it had been nine days since Kevin Durant had spoken to the media. Durant’s freeze-out coincided with the Kristaps Porzingis trade, and it was easy to conclude that he was trying to avoid being asked questions about his impending free agency and the increasing perception that he plans to sign with the Knicks. After the game last night Durant held an angsty press conference, in which he confirmed that he had been icing out the media to avoid questions about the Knicks, called out a reporter by name, and told all the writers in the room to “grow up.”
Let’s be charitable to Durant, and grant that it is probably very annoying to come to work every day and have a bunch of people asking you about where you plan on working next year. As aggravating as that situation is, though, it’s one that is very much of Durant’s own making. He’s the one who has kept his free agency in the foreground by only ever signing one-year deals with the Warriors, and it’s his team’s years-long domination of the NBA that has created a league in which Durant’s decision about where he wants to play next is much more meaningful than anything that actually happens on the court.
Those were of course good decisions for Durant to make—he’s very likely going to head into this summer as a fabulously wealthy man with three championship rings and his choice of teams to play for—and nobody can knock him for charting his career this way. But Durant should understand that those decisions come with certain consequences that he may find undesirable, and that having to answer the same annoying questions on a regular basis is not a steep price to pay for all the success he’s enjoyed. Durant’s never been all that big on self-awareness, though, so he’ll probably just go on being the grumpiest superstar on a dynasty in the history of sports.