Mary Altaffer/Associated Press
When he hit the open market in 2016, he was courted by a number of teams in the Hamptons as they looked to add the former MVP to their roster. Now that he is on the two-time defending champs, he expects there to be even more hoopla surrounding his impending free agency after the season.
Durant told The Athletic’s Michael Lee:
“You seen the coverage around LeBron’s free agency, and I knew that that type of attention would come, and playing in a small market where nobody [outside of Oklahoma City] really came to see us, unless it was a huge game, it’s a lot to take in. I feel like I learned from that situation. Back then, I didn’t let it bleed onto the basketball court. I just didn’t know what was coming.
“Now I have a good idea of what’s coming from fans, from media, just people who love free agency. That’s the thing now; that’s a part of the game. People love just that side.”
Durant hasn’t divulged much, but he told Nick Friedell of ESPN.com earlier this month he plans to be “honest” throughout the process. True to his word, the two-time Finals MVP made it clear last week he wasn’t interested in taking anymore discounts.
“I am thinking about the money I’m going to get,” Durant said, per The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. “I never got the [massive] deal. I’ve just seen a bunch of dudes around the league making so much money—and I’m happy for them. But I know I deserve that too. That’s the only thing I’m probably thinking about, to be honest.”
Durant has been through the process before, but back in 2016, the basketball world didn’t know how serious a possibility it was that he would leave Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now that he has shown he will do what’s best for his career (and added two championships as well), he should expect a frenzy to follow him everywhere.
After all, the season is less than a month old, and there has already been no shortage of coverage.