“I didn't mean anything by that,” Durant said. “I love it. I love who we're bringing in. I love the coaching we have here. And whoever comes in here, no matter what they've done before, we're going to change them into a Thunder player, which is a character guy, a guy that's going to work hard every single day and is going to be a great teammate.
“Those guys (the media), I really don't care what they have to say about our team and what they think we need because they never stepped on the court and played and been in battle. I've been there and I know what we need on this team and I know that we have it. And I trust in Sam Presti and Troy Weaver and those guys in the front office to put great players around us all.”
Other teams have stolen the headlines and shifted the attention from the Thunder this summer thanks to their splashy moves and OKC's untimely second-round exit.
Houston landed Dwight Howard in free agency. The Los Angeles Clippers plucked coach Doc Rivers from Boston, while also adding J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley and Darren Collison. Golden State added Andre Iguodala, Jermaine O'Neal and Marreese Speights. Denver welcomed J.J. Hickson, Darrell Arthur, Nate Robinson and Randy Foye. New Orleans netted Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Morrow.
But the unspoken belief in Oklahoma City, seemingly led by Durant's quiet confidence, is those teams are playing catch up.
It's the Thunder that still possesses the conference's most talented roster, the Thunder that has improved its winning percentage in five consecutive seasons and the Thunder that advanced farther in the playoffs for three straight seasons before an unfortunate injury to Westbrook derailed that progression this past season.
And it's Oklahoma City that Durant is eager to prove the Western Conference still goes through.
“If you don't win then people tend to forget about you and they don't think you're as good,” Durant said. “That's how it is. We know the name of the game. We just got to go out there and do what we do.”