Kevin Durant said he hit "rock bottom" soon after making his decision to sign with the Warriors in 2016.
Durant said the regret started days after he signed with the Warriors, while he was in China with Kleiman on a promotional tour with Nike Basketball.
He [Durant] was feeling the full brunt of the Internet’s fury about his perceived betrayal of Oklahoma... and the flak he was taking from people in Oklahoma City who had once professed deep affection for him was overwhelming. “To have so many people just say, ‘F— you,’ that really does it to you,” Durant tells me, still clearly anguished. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for... And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just... more than I could take. I was upset.
Durant said the blowback from his decision briefly messed him up.
“That was before I met anybody from the Warriors and dove into the culture. I was basically on my own,” Durant told Steinberg.
Kleiman said a panicked Durant called him early one morning from his hotel room in China.
“I was up at 6 a.m. and he [Durant] calls me and says, ‘Yo, are you up?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up?’ And he’s like [yelling], ‘Why the f— did you let me do this to my life?’"
“That hotel was rock bottom,” Durant told Steinberg.
Durant said he started to feel better about his decision during his time with Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I was worried about how my peers were going to feel about me,” he told Steinberg. “In my profession, that’s the only thing I care about. So when I was talking to Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, and they were like, ‘Congrats, man, do your thing,’ and Paul George was like, ‘Congrats, man, I am happy for you,’ and Kevin Love was like, ‘Shoot, do what you gotta do,’ that eased my mind a little bit, because I want that from my peers.”
Fast forward to today; Durant is positive he made the right decision.
Winning an NBA title and a Finals MVP award has a way of disproving any doubts.