Reacting to Kevin Durant’s interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Magic Johnson took a back-hand swipe at KD’s remarks Friday. Although Durant won two championships with Golden State, he essentially told the Journal he didn’t feel like he was a full member of the Warrior tribe, all of whom have spent their entire careers in the Bay area. In short, he said, “it didn’t feel as great as it could have been.”
The comments gave Johnson a chance to critique KD on ESPN’s First Take while praising teammates Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warrior core for giving up personal glory for the team.
“KD, I hope that he finds happiness,” said Johnson on First Take. “If you can’t find happiness in Golden State, where are you gonna find it at?
“First of all, give Steph Curry a lot of credit for saying ‘you know what? I’m a two-time MVP, I’m willing to take a back seat because I wanna win. Give Klay Thompson a lot of credit, for saying you know what — because you know whose game suffered the most? It was Klay Thompson. He used to get a lot more touches before KD got there and he said ‘you know what? I’m okay with that as long as we win a championship.’
“Draymond Green — even he had to take a back seat. So Kevin, if you’ve won back-to-back titles, you were MVP of the Finals as well. Where are you gonna find happiness at? I just want him to find happiness because when I look at Michael Jordan, I look at Kobe Bryant — this brother Kevin Durant is one of the best scorers we’ve seen in NBA history — so I just want him to be happy, but I don’t know where he’s gonna be happy at if he can’t find it at Golden State.”
At the core of these comments, of course, is a subtle dig at Durant’s choice of Brooklyn as his next NBA port-of-call. For a complex set of reasons, the 10-time All-Star wanted to play in New York, for Kenny Atkinson and with players he liked and respected, starting with his best friend in the league, Kyrie Irving and including two other pals, Caris LeVert and Taurean Prince. And he was willing to give up $50 million and a year of security to do it.
Of course, Durant’s pursuit of happiness will have to wait a bit —we don’t know how long. Do not expect Sean Marks to give any more of a hint on his return from Achilles surgery when he meets the press on Tuesday.
So far, though, from everything Durant has said to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Chris Henderson of YouTube, and J.R. Moehringer in the Wall Street Journal, Durant seems happy with his choice. He’ll get his chance to say more —and perhaps react to Magic Johnson, next Friday on Media Day.