Kevin Durant reveals the reason why he left Oklahoma City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 03: Kevin Durant  #7 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the game Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center on February 03, 2020 in New York City.Brooklyn Nets defeated the Phoenix Suns 119-97. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant is a polarizing player, but you can’t deny that he knows his own mind. There are reasons behind everything he does, even if he doesn’t reveal them at the time.

Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors in 2016 was one of those times. Durant had been with the Thunder for eight seasons and him leaving was seen as a betrayal — or worse. Durant didn’t just leave for an established team, he left for the team that had just come back from a 3-1 deficit to eliminate the Thunder in the Conference Finals.

Durant announced his decision in the Players’ Tribune, but he didn’t really explain it. Now almost four years later, he finally did on a recent episode of the "All the Smoke" podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

"In OKC, I played with a lot of athletes. I didn't play with a lot of skill guys, not like shooters [and] ball-handlers. So after a while, my game started to grow and I was like, 'I need a change.' This was before the [2015-16] season even started. I was tired of being the only guy who could make threes, make jump shots, and consistently make them."

Durant’s decision wasn’t made for any reason other than basketball. He wanted to find a roster that would maximize his skills, and he felt that the Thunder just couldn’t give that to him.

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Kevin Durant injures leg during NBA Finals Game 5
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Kevin Durant injures leg during NBA Finals Game 5
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) goes down with a leg injury against the Toronto Raptors during first half action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after sustaining an injury during the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 is helped to his feet by Klay Thompson #11 and Quinn Cook #4 of the Golden State Warriors after sustaining an injury against the Toronto Raptors in the first half during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors reacts as Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is carried off the court in the first half during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, alero de los Warriors de Golden State, es ayudado a salir de la cancha tras lesionarse durante el quinto partido de la Final de la NBA ante los Raptors de Toronto, el lunes 10 de junio de 2019 (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant glances up at the stands as he walks off the court after sustaining an injury during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is consoled as he walks off the court after sustaining an injury during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) walks off the court after sustaining an injury as Toronto Raptors' Serge Ibaka (9) addresses the crowd, while Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) and Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) look on during first half basketball action in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, Monday, June 10, 2019. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JUNE 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is assisted off the court after sustaining an injury in the first half against the Toronto Raptors during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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What Durant said about athletes vs. skill players could be taken as a dig at former Thunder guys like Russell Westbrook for being less-than-great at shooting, but he’s not putting anyone on blast. The world already knows that Westbrook isn’t a prodigious shooter, but he’s outstanding at other things. Other 2015-2016 Thunder players like Steven Adams and Enes Kanter weren’t great shooters either.

Durant was looking for a team where he could be one of the guys making threes and jump shots, not the only one. He definitely found it.

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