Since July 4, 2016, the day Kevin Durant declared his independence from the Oklahoma City Thunder, we’ve read and heard various reports about why he chose the Warriors, how Russell Westbrook factored into the decision, and even derogatory remarks about Durant’s personality.  Durant officially went from one of the nicest, most loved stars, to a villain in the league.  In a cover story for Rolling Stone, Durant delved into his childhood, his experiences and gave the most in depth look into a decision that changed the face of the NBA.

In this excerpt Durant talks about how the Thunder fell short, and why he needed a change:

He was the semper fi soldier two years later when management traded away James Harden, his friend and co-superstar. And he held his tongue when, summer after summer, the Thunder declined to add a proven third option – think Ray Allen in Boston, or Love in Cleveland. “Where other teams went out and got that veteran guy, we kept getting younger,” he says with a sigh, pushing around a sausage link with his fork. Apparently it’s exhausting, even in memory, to carry a team on your back.

Though he’s too shrewd to say it, that series of betrayals eventually broke his heart. “For nine years, he refused to speak a word against that team – he loved those guys and that city,” says his mom, Wanda Durant, who’s been his best friend and confidante since he started his b-ball journey at the age of eight. “But this summer he said, ‘Mama, I can’t do it anymore. They’re not in this thing with me, we’re not together like we were – I feel like I need something different.’ ” These past four years, he’d gamely shouldered the burden of heading a one-horse, two-star franchise, going into battle with just his point guard, Russell Westbrook, as a dependable second scorer. Each year, his Thunder would finish inches short, sputtering out against deeper teams in the playoffs.

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source: Rolling Stone