An elephant never forgets … and apparently neither does Kevin Durant. Known for being hypersensitive to criticism—the Brooklyn Nets star was famously caught using a burner account to defend himself online—long-time NBA reporter Ethan Strauss details Durant’s continued battle with critics in “The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty.”
In the book, which debuted Tuesday, Strauss paints Durant as paranoid to the point of obsession over his place in the Warriors’ pecking order, continually feuding with fans and media members who he felt favored teammate Stephen Curry at “his expense.” At one point in Strauss’ 224-page best-seller, Durant is quoted as saying, “I hear and I read everything and I don’t forget it.”
Despite winning a pair of championships and consecutive Finals MVPs during his three-year run with Golden State, Durant never felt like he truly belonged there, failing to supplant the wildly popular Curry as the face of the franchise. Those insecurities came to the surface during a heated exchange with Strauss, with Durant accusing the veteran journalist of trying to “rile up Steph’s fans.”
The author also explores Durant’s falling out with teammate Draymond Green, who resented the All-Star forward for “dangling his impending free agency” as a threat throughout the 2018-19 season. Strauss expressed that Durant spent that final year in Oakland “halfway out the door” while becoming increasingly hostile in his interactions with the media, pouring over articles and tweets for any perceived slights. “Some stars can get mad over a headline,” wrote Strauss in a book excerpt shared by USA Today. “Not KD. He reads everything and takes issue with specific sentences and phrases.”
Durant’s portrayal in Strauss’ new book was also the subject of Pablo Torre’s “Parting Shot” on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. In his 90-second monologue, Torre shared that Durant frequently direct messaged Twitter trolls who he felt favored Curry and once confronted a columnist for critical remarks “over 40 minutes” into a podcast they were taping. Durant hasn’t addressed Strauss’ claims yet, at least not directly (his last handful of tweets have been rather cryptic), though there’s no doubt the 31-year-old will give the book a read at some point … if he hasn’t already.