Kevin Durant responded to suggestions that the two-time reigning NBA champion Warriors are better in his absence.
Kevin Durant said the idea that the Warriors are better without him is “not facts” as the superstar recovers from a calf injury.
Two-time reigning champions the Warriors are preparing for their fifth successive NBA Finals, however, Durant has not played since Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Durant strained his calf in the clash with the Rockets, which forced him to miss the Western Conference Finals sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Amid talk the Warriors play better in his absence, Durant — who is unlikely to be ready for the start of the NBA Finals — told reporters: “It’s been that way since I got here.
“It’s been that way since I got here, ‘it’s the Warriors and KD,’ I understand that and I felt like my team-mates and the organization know exactly what I’ve done here off and on the court to become a part of this culture, stamp my flag in this culture and this organization.
“I know what I bring to the team, but I also know a lot of people on the outside don’t like to see us together and I get it.”
Kevin Durant & DeMarcus Cousins injury update: pic.twitter.com/nMyQG0yKDl
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 23, 2019
Durant added: “It’s hard to get away from that because I watch the game and you watch the lead up to the games and that’s all everybody is talking about.
“My perspective is just like I want to focus on rehab, but I also want to be a fan of my teammates. I want to enjoy my teammates from a different view. A lot of those guys sit in a chair and cheer for the rest of the guys, the starting guys, and now I get an opportunity to do the same thing. I turn the TV and since I can’t travel with the team all I hear is the noise.
“As a player, I think about that — I’m just like, that’s not true. That’s not facts when it comes from a basketball perspective. The competitive side of me, I also like to talk basketball as well, so if you’re going to say something like that, I’m going to engage in it — so it’s all fun, it’s all cool, but I know the real.”