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‘I don’t want to get traded’: Kevin Durant silences ‘frustration’ report

© Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

On Christmas Day, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said on the air that Phoenix Suns’ superstar Kevin Durant was frustrated with the current state of the Suns.

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This report, which claimed Durant felt his supporting was underwhelming and was frustrated with Bradley Beal missing games, came in the midst of a stretch of game in which the Suns had lost eight of their last 11 and were 14-14 on the year. Beal had only played six games up until this point and was out at the time due to a right ankle sprain.

Now, in an exclusive interview with Fox Sports’ Melissa Rohlin, Durant spilled a lot on how he felt about the situation (all quotes via her article).

“I don’t want to get traded,” Durant said. “I’m not frustrated because Brad was injured. I wasn’t frustrated because of the role players on the team. That s— really was ignorant to me, you know what I’m saying? It’s like, yeah, we lose a game – you think I’m supposed to be happy after we lose a game? You know what I’m saying? I’m not frustrated with the whole situation. I may be frustrated at the moment, at a bad play or a tough stretch. But nah, I enjoy the grind.”

The Following Days

The night that this came out, Durant scored a season-low 16 points and had six turnovers in a 128-114 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. 

In the subsequent days after this report, many fans had pointed out on social media that Durant looked “mentally checked out.”

Durant responded to one of these comments on social media saying that people “can flat out lie on (his) name … and you people will believe it.”

“That whole few days was so trash to me because it was all speculation about what I may be thinking based off of body language; I’m not smiling enough,” Durant said to Rohlin. “…There wasn’t even no smoke there. That was just one game, man. Everyone needed something to write right before Christmas.”

Former NBA player Brandon Jennings even made headlines for a quote that he posted on social media about Durant inferring Durant deserves better than the challenges the Suns were grappling with. This sparked even more conversation around the topic.

“The people that respond to that as if I said something, that’s really delusional to me,” Durant said. “Brandon Jennings can have his ideas and opinions, but to act like it came from me is the wildest part. I don’t talk to this guy. He’s got his own opinions on the league, which is fine. But the response to that was like I was saying it. Like, why are [people] even spending this much time worrying about … Does KD deserve better? Or he doesn’t deserve better? Like, why are you even talking about this?”

Suns Struggling Again

Now, the Suns find themselves in a rough patch once again, having lost three of their last four games. On the season, they are 19-18 and the ninth seed in the Western Conference.

Durant is shouldering a lot of the load even with Beal and Booker both healthy now. On the season, he is averaging 29.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists while shooting 52.5% from the floor and is second in the NBA at 47.4% shooting from three.

“I love that we’re struggling almost because we can learn from it and get better and move forward from it,” Durant said. “Obviously, I don’t love struggling. But I like finding good things out of winning basketball games. The more film we watch, the more pride we take. The tougher it is, the better we’ll become from it. That’s my mentality the whole time.”

When talking to the media, Durant has been steadfast the whole season, and really his whole career, about not being too low on anything and always keeps his spirits high even in the tough moments.

“Me talking about any frustration is going to turn into people thinking that I’m checked out or I’m trying to ask for a trade,” Durant said. “So, me saying that I’m frustrated, I don’t even want to talk like that. Like, I’m happy about everything.”

Reacting to What People Think of Him

Durant acknowledged the fan and media perception of himself.

“Nobody wants to call me great,” Durant said. “They want to call me all these other words: Insecure, miserable, bad teammate. That’s what’s going to get (people) paid for the articles they write. They can’t write, ‘KD is such a student of the game’ or ‘He’s a great teammate’ or ‘He loves basketball.’ Nobody wants to hear that s— when it comes to me.”

“Why are you continuously trying to create drama around my name for no reason? Why are you trying to make my life miserable? That’s the question. There’s no need. Let’s just talk about what I see on the basketball court because the fan base wants to know how I’m thinking as a basketball player.”

Durant and the Suns next take the ccourt tomorrow night in Los Angeles against the 19-19 Lakers, who are a already a perfect 3-0 against the Suns this season.

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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