Even with the 2019 NBA free agency season still several months away, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant has been subject to numerous rumors regarding his plans for the coming offseason.
While many of these rumors point to him joining the Los Angeles Lakers and teaming up with LeBron James, a leading NBA insider believes that Durant's recent comments about the four-time MVP and his media "fanboys" are a sign that he won't be wearing the purple and gold in the 2019-20 season. Speculation is abound that his comments might also be a sign that he may be jealous of the attention that James is getting from the press.
In a recent appearance on Fox Sports' Undisputed, NBA analyst Chris Broussard offered his take on Durant's interview this week with Bleacher Report, wherein Durant told the publication's Ric Bucher why he feels many of the NBA's top players don't want to be teammates with James on the Lakers. According to Broussard, Durant's sentiments about the "toxic environment" surrounding LeBron and the Lakers might have been informed by his often contentious relationship with the media, as opposed to the perceived reverence toward James.
"I think these comments were rooted in jealousy, because KD doesn't like the way the media has treated him," said Broussard, as quoted by Amico Hoops.
"But I would say, 'KD, the criticism is [for] the burner account. Because you told a 'fan shut the heck up.' That's what you're criticized for.'"The above statement was partly a reference to the allegations made against Kevin Durant in 2017, where it was suggested that the former NBA scoring champion created several "burner" Twitter accounts to defend himself from criticism. Durant purportedly used these accounts to speak about himself in the third person and, while pretending to be a random fan, justify his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in the summer of 2016. Additionally, Broussard was referring to a recent altercation which Durant had with a fan, one where he was caught on video swearing at a heckler, per Warriors Wire.
"For him to say, there's a toxic environment around LeBron, I think what he was trying to say was, 'I don't want to be critical of LeBron… so let me put it on the media," Broussard added.
Although Broussard made it clear that he doesn't see Kevin Durant in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform after this season, he had previously predicted that the 30-year-old All-Star forward will nonetheless opt out of the final year of his contract -- and join another team in free agency next summer. According to 24/7 Sports, Broussard said in November that Durant will likely be "gone" from the Warriors after the 2018-19 NBA season, adding that he had predicted such a scenario even before Durant's postgame altercation with Golden State teammate Draymond Green became a hot topic in NBA circles.