Durant unfazed by Thunder return
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant insists he is unfazed by the prospect of facing his former team as the NBA champions prepare to take on Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.
Durant, who is battling to recover from a left ankle sprain, left Oklahoma City for Golden State after eight seasons in 2016.
In his return to Oklahoma City last season, Durant put up 40 points, and blocked out the hostile reception which greeted him.
More of the same is expected on Wednesday, but Durant said he is unconcerned by the catcalls.
“It’s just a regular game for me now,” the reigning NBA Finals MVP said Tuesday. “I learned how to tune out the crowd.”
The 29-year-old said a decision on whether he will play on Wednesday will most likely be taken on the day of the game.
“We’ll see how it feels in the morning but right now, it feels good,” said Durant, who sat out Golden State’s 118-111 victory at Brooklyn on Sunday.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr meanwhile said Durant would be ready for anything in terms of crowd reception.
“We’re a year removed from the first one so hopefully it will be a little less hostile,” Kerr said. “But we’ll be ready for whatever.”
The Warriors coach compared Durant’s return to Oklahoma City to the reception given to LeBron James when he first played back in Cleveland after joining Miami in 2010.
“It reminded me of LeBron’s return to Cleveland,” Kerr said. “It was very similar, just a different vibe. Sometimes you can have intensity and desire, and sometimes it can be ugly. And it was ugly.”