The Warriors' blowout loss on opening night to the Spurs was a huge surprise. It was also surely a delightful development for those who hated Kevin Durant's decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State.
KD has been anything but a villain throughout his career, but now he's having to deal with serious scrutiny from critics, both real and, well, imagined.
"They told me I ain't have no drive! I'm out here," Durant said while shooting after practice on Thursday, according to ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss. "They called me a coward! Putting in work."
On the one hand, players used perceived slights all the time as motivation. On the other, how weird is it that he's talking to himself while shooting in front of the media? Durant is either genuinely being affected so much by the criticism that he can't stop thinking about it or he's taking a page out of Kobe Bryant's book and making a show out of his work ethic to try to convert critics.
It seems like it's a combination of both.
"Nobody in this arena right now, and that's when you get better," Durant said. "Nobody sees you when you're doing this stuff right here, but luckily y'all was in here watching."
That makes it sound like he wants people to know that he's putting in work. But he also really, really seems to be concerned about what it's being said about him, even though he swears he doesn't read any of it.
"It's not that I read it -- it's just in the air," Durant said. "You know it's just in the atmosphere and people tell you and you hear about it. You guys ask me questions about it all the time, so obviously I know, but I'm not losing sleep on it. It's just wood on that fire.
"It's one game of 82 and you f---ing guys make me feel like the world's going to end."
So to recap, Durant is talking to himself while shooting alone in an empty gym, like he's in a commercial, but it's the media who is freaking out about the first game of the season. Right.
This is gearing up to be a weird year for KD. Fortunately for him, he might get a ring at the end of it.