Kevin Durant was recently asked why the Thunder aren’t generally considered in the same tier as the Warriors, Spurs and Cavs.
KD replied that it’s because the media doesn’t give OKC enough respect. Specifically, Durant hypothesized that since the Thunder have the same core that hasn’t succeeded in the past, experts tend to write them off.
Here’s KD, courtesy of ESPN’s Royce Young:
“Man, the [media and experts are] always trying to nitpick us,” Kevin Durant told ESPN.com. “I mean, they don’t like us. They don’t like how Russell [Westbrook] talks to the media, they don’t like how I talk to the media. So obviously, yeah, they’re not going to give us the benefit of the doubt.
“Especially since we’ve been together so long. Some of these teams are new, except for the Spurs, who have won. But we haven’t won and we’ve still got the same core, so they don’t expect us to win. It is what it is, who cares about them. They don’t mean nothing, the critics. Their opinions, everybody has one, but we don’t really care about them. Every day we’re just going to keep grinding this thing out. We feel like we can compete with anybody.”
To be fair, the Thunder are often mentioned among the title-contending teams in the League. It’s just that the Warriors and Spurs are playing at historically great levels, and the Cavs look head and shoulders above the rest of the East.
Durant’s showing that chip on his shoulder, and the Thunder know they’ll have to be firing on all cylinders come Playoff time.