Kevin Durant On Joining The Warriors: “I’m Not A Leader”

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Though there’ll never be a shortage of reasons, true and imagined, thrown out there to explain Kevin Durant’s decision to abandon the Oklahoma City Thunder in favor of the already nearly unstoppable Golden State Warriors, the latest Finals MVP admitted in a recent interview that the motivation had to do with his standing on his old team: He no longer wanted to be a leader.

“Steph Curry is the face of the franchise, and that helps me out, because I don’t have to,” he told GQ. “I don’t want to have to be the leader. I’m not a leader. I’m bad at saying, ‘Stand behind me and follow me.’ No. I’m one of those guys that’s just like, ‘Let’s do this shit together. Let’s just work everybody together. I don’t mind being on the front line with you, but let’s come and do it together.’ That’s my way of leadership. I’m leading by example.”

This outlet has taken its share of swipes at KD, but props to him for both recognizing this about himself and being big enough, so to speak, to be comfortable with stepping aside. Ask fans of the James Dolan-owned New York Knicks how it feels to have an ill-prepared individual who overestimates his ability to lead insist upon doing so.

In the same interview, Durant addressed the Twitter fiasco in which it’d become increasingly clear that he used fake social media accounts to argue with basketball fans about him on Twitter.

KD claimed “a dissociative episode” was to blame: “It just felt like I was on the outside looking in at a conversation. I had to walk in and just be like, ‘Nah.'”

Regardless of whether you think that excuse holds up, the incident clearly got to him:

The next 24 hours of Durant’s life unfolded in a miserable procession. At the court dedication, held at the Menlo Park Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, he arrived in a Pink Floyd T-shirt, his face in visible pain. Every 30 seconds or so, he checked Twitter. Condoleezza Rice, who is on the advisory council of the BGCP, appeared in a red blouse; zombie-like, Durant posed for a photo with her, and then wandered away. As part of the ceremony, he was interviewed on a makeshift stage by two high school students. One of them asked a seemingly innocuous question about who had helped Durant believe in himself and be self-confident. “I still struggle to feel confident in myself,” he responded. “I still struggle with seeking approval from others sometimes, not realizing that I’m winning in life. Sometimes I tend to go backwards. But that’s just part of life. Don’t feel down about it. Don’t feel upset. Don’t feel embarrassed, even though you are embarrassed at times…. I’m having a bad day today. But you guys are giving me life.”

After the interview ended, he wandered back over to [agent Rich] Kleiman: “Anything new on Twitter?” he asked.

Yeah, this dude definitely has fake Twitter accounts.

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