KD shares how the Warriors’ tenure affected his NBA legacy

Kevin Durant, a 13-time NBA All-Star, two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP and one-time league MVP, doesn't care what people think anymore.

“I don't care about legacy,” Durant told me The Athletic's Shams Charania. “I used to. I used to want to create a lane or a space in this game for myself that people can remember, but it's become too much now. There's just too much focus on other people. What has he done, what has he? Comparisons. Before, when we weren't having all these discussions, I cared… I'm about to be in the same breath as these top guys. It was big.

“These days I really, really don't care. I really just want to go out and produce, be the best I can be, go home, spend time with my family, that's it.”

Durant was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics in 2007, which later became the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he spent his first nine years in the league before merging with the Golden State dynasty.

He spent three seasons and won two championships with the Warriors before leaving for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, though an Achilles injury sidelined him for the 2020-21 season.

But things turned sour this past offseason when he requested a trade from the Nets and asked the team to consider changing the head coach and general manager. The trade request was eventually shelved, but when Durant's teammate Kyrie Irving transferred to the Western Conference with the Dallas Mavericks, Durant followed suit.

“When I left to go to the Warriors, I figured some logical thing, when it comes to me, it's out the window,” Durant said. “When it comes to me, people won't think logically or just look at what I've done and say that's it. They have to add a story to it, they have to push something to discredit me. Once I left to go to the Warriors, it's been the gymnastics of discrediting me every step of the way. It's like, hell, it's not even fun, not like hanging out with people anymore because you're not even being truthful. You move the goalpost every time, you expect the most from me and if I don't reach it, I'm a failure. It's like, what's the problem?

“I don't throw my s- at people. People want their own experience in the NBA. Their experience is their experience. I can't say anything. I'll let it be. When some fan says “KD, I don't like the way you did this.” I can't be upset about it. It's your view and how you see the league. I just learned to accept it, move forward and be the best me.”

Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns at this year's trade deadline and played its first game at the Footprint Center as a member of Sun's organization on Wednesday.

After the trade, Phoenix became the favorites to get out of the West and their chances of winning the Finals skyrocketed.

RELATED: GP2 warns teams not to fear the Warriors this year

Durant is still chasing his first championship since 2018. Although he cherished his years playing with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the Bay, he said his attitude changed while in Golden State.

“I would say around the Warriors years. I wouldn't say I was trying to please people, but I was just trying to get people to understand who I was as a player,” Durant said. “There was so much confusion about how I left OKC about who I was as an individual. And I felt like I needed to explain that to the media and NBA fans, but after a while I was just like they're going to believe what they're going to believe regardless. So there is no reason for me to even delve into their experiences and try to change and change the way they think about the situation.

“After a while I was just like you can think what you want. I know that's just part of it. I'm done trying to get you to understand who I am as a person and as a player.”

With six games left in the regular season, Durant will continue his fresh start in the desert as he chases the one thing that matters to him: Winning a championship.

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