Kevin Durant hates you and your team. You might be sitting there saying “but I’m a Warriors fan,” but trust us: he’s not into you either. Kevin Durant likes to ball, be himself, and chill. The rest is a nuisance, and his godforsaken free agency tour was an even more profound nuisance. Our extremely plugged-in sources, borne from an indescribable anti-human magic that sees all, told us about the strange week the Gold Medalist had as NBA teams courted him this July. This, reported and re-reported over the last three months, is the story that no one else is brave enough to tell.
Pat Riley sits in a jacuzzi wearing a gold chain that his doctor has said is too heavy for his back. He smokes a cigar, and when he’s finished he does five lines of extremely good coke, puts on his robe, and takes a cab to Durant’s rental in the Hamptons, still wearing his robe. The robe has all of Riley’s championship rings in its pockets, and they are noisy. “I’m so tight,” Riley mutters to himself as he exits an Uber Nissan Passat.
Durant is confused by Riley’s choice of outfit, but Riley misinterprets the confusion as ease; he believes he has the superstar just where he wants him. When Durant goes to the bathroom—following Riley slapping the table as loudly as possible every time he says “Kevin,” which at one point he says seven times in a row—Riley responds to text messages from Dwyane Wade’s agent cruelly: “GLAD. SO GLADDDDD THAT KD IS OUR NEW GUY!”
Durant walks Riley out of his house after 27 excruciating minutes of the Heat executive doing very bad magic tricks with his championship rings, including one that spilled all the rings from a top hat, with one accidentally landing in Durant’s dragonfruit-infused seltzer water; a $40-per-bottle product his new friend Joe Lacob had recently turned him onto. As he sees Riley out, Durant is looking him up and down, watching him closely, very much praying he doesn’t take his robe off. — JW
Major media outlets never reported on Durant’s meeting with Phil Jackson, but they don’t have The Big Great Eye at their disposal. We do, and The Eye tells us Phil and Kevin never discussed the Knicks or a contract of any kind, however, because as soon as Durant entered the Zen Master’s own home in the Hamptons he became all too curious about the smell in the air. Jackson, good host that he is, offered to share, and the two smoked a medley made from the various marijuanas and bespoke opiums in Jackson’s collection.
Blazed beyond blazed, they laid in the middle of Jackson’s ballroom. There, Jackson kept laughing and saying “you’re taller than me, but I think I weigh more,” and waxing reverent about the invisible hand of the market and the tao of personal branding. He told Durant he had “a frame and a vibe [he] could ride to the sky.” When Durant brought up Jackson’s supposed hippy virtues, expressing surprise at his affinity for predatory business ethics, Jackson got sort of offended.
“I am a pioneer,” Jackson said. “I have blood that runs hot through my heart and I want things in the mean way that everyone else does. My paradigm was never about love, but efficiency, the highest expression of the divine that we have here on...” before falling suddenly, violently asleep. Durant was decidedly confused and left to get four giant roast beefs from Arby’s. Then it was off to meet with the Celtics. — JW
KEVIN: Wow guys, that was a great presentation. Flexibility, depth, a wonderful young coach, I think this organization has a lot going for it. I will definately think about what I’ve heard here today.
While everyone is leaving the meeting, Danny Ainge grabs Kevin’s arm and whispers
DANNY: Kevin, please.
DANNY: I can’t keep doing this. I’m a winner, Kevin. I played two professional sports, won titles, succeeded as a general manager. I was on the Toronto Blue Jays, okay? Everything I’ve ever done has been an unqualified success, up until this moment. I hate this team full of mediocre good-plus-minus chumps. I hate Brad Stevens, that robotic egghead. I hate Boston and I hate people coming up to me in the street and bitching about the team. Please, Kevin, the only way I can get up in the morning is if I KNOW there is victory for me to devour the moment that I leave my gigantic bedroom. If you don’t sign with this team, if I don’t get another hit of that sweet, sweet victory necar, I don’t know if I can live another year like that. Do you understand, I am sitting here looking down the barrel of three years being the Atlanta Hawks! I played TWO PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, Kevin. I know Lloyd Moseby personally, I have smelled Kevin McHale up close. I deserve better than this!
KEVIN: (Has already left) — CS
A face Kevin recognizes, that of Thunder GM Sam Presti, appears on the screen of a 32-inch Samsung TV, mounted on the wall of the Hampton Inn in Amagansett, New York.
I know you’re not an adult yet, but we are, and we know what the best part of being an adult is. It’s doing the same things with the same people, day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Sure, you could move to a nicer city and play for a better team, but how will you learn to celebrate the subtle textures and variations of your monotonous existence? You should definitely stay here and play with the same people for the same organization for the same coach, in front of the same people and with the same amount of exposure and the same playoff results, year after year.
Repetition will set you free, Kevin, and when it’s all over and you’re collapsed in a heap on the court, your knees blown and a stadium full of concerned people murmuring about your 35-year-old self and its progressive state of collapse, you can say to yourself, to numb the pain of your knee bones scraping against each other, “well at least I did the same thing over and over and reached a point of spectacular enlightenment by going as deep as I possibly could into that particular experience.” We as the Thunder organization can’t wait to go on this journey with you!” — CS
The Clippers and Kevin Durant spent four long hours huddled together in a haunted mansion in the Hamptons on a rainy Saturday night in a meeting that even the dumbest analysts knew was a four-hour waste of time.
The meeting began tensely, as Doc Rivers and Lawrence “Lil’ Brudder” Frank struggled to account for Chris Paul’s absence, saying only that Chris was with the bulls now—no, not those Bulls, the ones in Spain, the ones you run with. Durant reportedly said “Oh.” Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan then spent an hour explaining what part Durant would play in their sophisticated offense, describing his role as “co-chief basket-maker” and “the good shot-man who shoots that good stuff we love from all places” and “the second quarter king of everything” and further assuring him that, despite what he may have read, JJ Redick really smells fine, not at all like a long-abandoned barn.
A nauseating silence was broken by crafty little Lawrence Frank, who noticed a VHS copy of Blown Away, the 1994 film about bombs and people defusing bombs starring Tommy Lee Jones as a terrorist and Jeff Bridges as the other guy. The Clippers and Durant then watched Blown Away, and loved Blown Away so much in fact that they watched it again, just laughing and laughing at Tommy Lee Jones’ terrible accent and Jeff Bridges’ huge ‘90s shirts, and also learning a lot about themselves in the process. At the end of the meeting Doc Rivers shook Kevin Durant’s hand and they embraced in an extremely manly way.
“Congratulations, I’ve decided to join the Los Angeles Clippers,” Durant then said. “Is what I would be saying if Lawrence Frank didn’t freak me out so much. Sorry, it’s nothing personal, it’s just that you are the tiny defeats on the margins that forestall the good from becoming great. You, this organization, are the difference between a tragedy and a statistic. You, this team, are the King of the Goblins, and as an American so kings don’t impress me much. Drag your soft knuckles back to the stupid self-created hell you’ve crawled out of, and tell Chris I said hello!” Durant did not ask to keep the copy of Blown Away on VHS, because he would buy a copy for himself, on blu-ray. — AS
Several well-placed sources have told me that the Spurs arrived half an hour late to their meeting with Durant. San Antonio’s delegation, comprised of LaMarcus Aldridge, Gregg Popovich, and RC Buford, seemed extremely distracted, even sleepy, during the two-hour meeting, explaining that they had all stayed up late thinking about how they could be better citizens in such trying times.
A confidential informant claims that a noticeably jittery LaMarcus Aldridge was repeatedly glared into silence by the taciturn Popovich, who took extended mysterious bathroom breaks. Durant was not-unimpressed with San Antonio’s audacious pitch of “Join us or we’ll destroy you for the next ten years with Kris Humphries and DJ Mbenga in our starting lineup” but yet another source close to the situation claimed that he was not impressed either. Popovich knelt before Durant and told him extremely gruffly that he respected him and had great admiration for his feel for the game and his genuine if damaged smile, but “Que sera, sera, you know?”
Two other sources—one a former player agent now on the run from the law, the other an indentured servant in the home who plans to write the Great American Novel—claim Buford then asked whether Sam Presti was still a massive “Grade-A horn-dog.” That account is contradicted by another source, this one a cruel if very comely vagabond, says Buford said no such thing, and that Buford actually just sneezed in a sort of interesting way. No fewer than four anonymous sources tell me that the sneeze was in no way interesting, that in fact “you would have to be legitimate psychos to think there was any way a sneeze could be interesting.” Anyway, then everyone left. — AS