Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors this summer, leaving behind the only NBA franchise he had ever played with, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and longtime teammate Russell Westbrook.
Many assumed that Durant and Westbrook, two of the five or 10 best players in the world, were great friends off the court, but that was not the case according to Durant. They had a fine working relationship, but it didn't go much past that. In fact, it was the closeness of the Golden State Warriors stars that attended the franchise's pitch to him that really attracted him to the team.
Rolling Stone writer Paul Solotaroff did a long feature on Durant, in which he opens up about his relationship with Westbrook, and what attracted him to the Warriors.
As close as people presumed he and Westbrook had been, they were never much more than work friends, he says. "We had our own cliques that we hung with on the road. Russell had his guys, I had mine. It was never a bad thing. Just how it was."
Durant compared that to what he saw with guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
"They just liked each other so much and were so relaxed," he says. "I thought, 'These are some chill-ass dudes I wouldn't mind hooping with.' I wasn't even asking, 'How do we play together?' I was asking, 'Where do y'all go eat, do y'all hang out together?'" These were salient questions for Durant.
With the addition of Kevin Durant to the core of Curry, Green, and Thompson, the Golden State Warriors are prohibitive favorites to head to their third straight NBA Finals and win a second title in three seasons. The team's season tips off with a huge game at Oracle Arena against the San Antonio Spurs on October 25 at 10:30 p.m. ET.