Durant also said he understands why Thunder fans are so hurt by his decision.
It's been just over two weeks since Kevin Durant released a blog post on The Players' Tribune announcing his intention to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Durant has since been mostly quiet outside of his introductory press conference with the Warriors, but the 2014 MVP finally opened up more about his departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder following the opening of Team USA's training camp on Monday.
Durant spoke to reporters for 25 minutes, and his answers made it clear he understands how much his decision hurt the Thunder and the team's fans.
"I understand where they're coming from. It hurt me. I was hurt for a few days because I know I hurt so many people in Oklahoma City by changing teams," Durant said, per Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman.
Durant even admitted he stayed inside his rented house in the Hamptons and played video games for several days because he wanted to block out the criticism for a while, according to USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick:
"I didn't leave my bed, because I was like, 'Man, if I walk outside somebody might just try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me,'" Durant said. "I just stayed in. I was trying to process it all. I wanted to be around family, and positive support. It felt different.
"I mean I've been somewhere for so long and then to make a change like that (which) nobody knew was coming, that nobody didn't think I would do, of course I didn't know how it would be received afterwards. But at some point, I just said, 'Look man, life goes on. Life moves on, and I can't hide forever,' so I just had to face it."
Now Durant's ready to face the music, and he even addressed some of the pointed criticism from big-name analysts like Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller:
"Those are two guys, you know?" he said of Barkley and Miller. "They've got a voice in our game, and a lot of people probably felt the same way but they don't have a voice so obviously what they say is translated through a megaphone so it feels like everybody else (thinks that). If Charles Barkley said it, it must be true. If Reggie Miller says it, it must be true. It just feels like it's bigger than what it is."
Another sensitive topic Durant discussed was his relationship with former star teammate Russell Westbrook. A report from Bleacher Report's Howard Beck stated that frustration with Westbrook played a key role in Durant's departure, but he soundly denied that and also said he never discussed Westbrook's uncertain future in Oklahoma City when the two dined with Nick Collison before the fateful decision on July 4.
Durant reiterated that quite simply, "Golden State is where I wanted to play basketball," and he wishes Westbrook "nothing but the best." The two still haven't had an in-depth conversation about the situation, but Durant anticipates that happening in the near future.
For now, Durant will focus on his duties with Team USA. Training camp continues in Las Vegas this week, and the team's first tune-up game comes against Argentina on Friday. Olympic play begins in Rio de Janeiro on August 6.