NBA Writer: Durant "Is Kind Of Cranky These Days"

Steve Aschburner gave some unsolicited advice to Kevin Durant, who lashed out at media this week

February 08, 2019 - 9:11 am

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Kevin Durant, annoyed with questions about his impending free agency, went on a tirade against the media this week, saying he doesn’t trust them and just wants to play basketball. Durant also told the media to “grow up.”

Umm, okay then.

What should fans make of Durant’s meltdown?

“We like to dish it out and a lot of us can’t take it, so I don’t like to obsess when the criticism come back in our direction,” senior writer Steve Aschburner said of the media on Ferrall on the Bench. “But Kevin Durant is kind of cranky these days. The idea that a guy who can sign a series of short-term contracts that keep free agency at the forefront of discussions regarding him – and then he gets mad when people speculate or even just ask about where he might end up next season – that’s kind of on him. Particularly in a week where the Knicks make a move that looks like it’s totally designed to open up cap space to be a player in the free-agency market this summer, he’s naturally going to get these questions.”

Durant has won two NBA titles and two Finals MVPs in the last two years. He should be on cloud nine – or one would think.

“Durant just doesn’t seem very happy,” Aschburner said. “I think he has internalized the criticism of his move to Golden State and probably feels like what he’s accomplished there has been discounted by a lot of the public and the media – and he’s probably right. They were a proven winner before he got there, so his accomplishment is not what he might have thought it would be. So yeah, it’s misplaced. He maybe needs to get a little coaching in how to deal with people that, by and large, are pretty easy to deal with if you just sort of engage properly. If you fight it, it’s going to be difficult. The media always has the last word.”

There is speculation that the Knicks are going to come after Durant hard in free agency. Scott Ferrall believes the thin-skinned Durant should star far, far away. If he can’t handle media scrutiny in Oakland, Ferrall says, there’s no way he could handle it in New York.

“I’m not going to argue with you,” Aschburner said. “In Oklahoma City, he had about as cushy a media situation as he could have. He had a team that was more determined to protect its stars – Westbrook and Durant – from media people, and obviously the locals, very limited media in terms of numbers and they were happy to have those guys. Not harsh at all. He still found ways to feud with folks down there. It’s a part of his job that he doesn’t like.”

Not that Aschburner has much sympathy.

“The fact is there are a lot of basketball leagues he can go play in,” Aschburner  said. “He just has to accept he can’t make $30 million a year doing it if it’s not the NBA. Part of the NBA, where does the money come from? It comes from the extreme interest that fans have around the world in these guys. You just want to go to the gym and you want to go home? That’s fine, but you can’t take the paycheck with you.”