Kevin Durant says he stands behind Thunder GM Sam Presti after trades

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Staff Writer dmayberry@opubco.com Published: February 25, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Have no fear, Thunder fans.

Kevin Durant is still on good terms with the franchise.

Longtime anxiety had lingered about how the face of the franchise would respond if management ever traded his good friend and frontcourt sidekick Jeff Green. That perceived problem threatened to become a reality on Thursday, when the Thunder dealt Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston in exchange for center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson.

On Friday, though, Durant alleviated any and all apprehension with one resounding assurance.

"He made the best decision for our team and I stand behind him 100 percent," Durant said of Thunder general manager Sam Presti.

Durant said Presti never consulted him about the deal before it was done, adding he didn't want or need to be informed. Hours before Thursday's 2 p.m. deadline, Durant didn't even think the team would make a deal before. He found out Thursday afternoon, while he and D.J. White were in Green's hotel room when Green received the phone call that sent shock waves throughout the NBA.

Durant deemed the moment "one of the toughest times I had to go through as a player."

"I thought he was joking when he said he got traded," Durant said. "It didn't seem real to me. I just gave him a big hug and told him good luck with his new team."

Durant, meanwhile, remains committed to his, saying he has no hard feelings toward the franchise.

"I started with this team," Durant said. "I said I was going to try to help this team get to a point where we're the last team standing. And because one of my closest friends left, I can't give up on that. I committed to this team. I'm loyal to this team. They were loyal to me. So none of that stuff really matters."

The bond between Durant and Green originated from the two growing up in the Washington, D.C. area. They entered the league together in the 2007 draft, Durant taken with the second overall pick and Green taken by Boston with the fifth overall selection before immediately being traded to the Thunder franchise. Veteran forward Nick Collison is the only player other than Durant and Green to have experienced the trying relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City.



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