Kevin Durant said he felt it was “time for a change” after last season and so did not give too much thought to the Golden State warriors as he signed for the Brooklyn Nets.
Durant appeared as a Nets player for the first time on Friday, addressing a news conference.
Questions predictably focused on his decision to leave the dynasty he helped build with the Warriors for the hot-and-cold Nets, who have made the playoffs just once in the past four seasons.
But Durant said his achievements with Golden State were not on his mind as he entered free agency.
“I felt like it was time for a change,” he told reporters. “I wanted to play for a new team and, simply put, I just did it.
“I didn’t really think about what I was leaving behind or what we accomplished. I put that up on the shelf already.
“When it was time to make a decision about my future, I thought solely about me.”
Asked if he considered staying with the Warriors or joining a team like the Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks, Durant replied: “I thought about it for a couple of seconds.”
The 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP was ruled out of the end of last season and is expected to miss all of the coming campaign following an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the Finals series against the Toronto Raptors.
Durant had just returned from injury and that swift comeback prompted Kyrie Irving, a fellow new Nets signing, appearing alongside Durant on Friday, to discuss his thoughts.
“We all know K was not ready to play in that environment,” Irving said. “We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not.
“He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage to end up selling a product that came before the person Kevin and now I’m here to protect that.
“I’m going to be a protector of that all throughout the year and not allow anyone to infiltrate that circle.
“We have expectations for our team. We obviously know he’s an integral part, but we’ll wait for that.
“I’m very patient. I’ll be [overly] patient with Kevin because I don’t want anything to happen like that again. I want him to be 101 per cent healthy.”