Ben Margot/Associated Press
Kevin Durant risked his reputation to leave Oklahoma City and become a Golden State Warrior. One championship and Finals MVP later, though, Durant is GQ‘s Champion of the Year.
The Warriors forward was named one of four “Men of the Year” on Monday, joining former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, late-night host Stephen Colbert and actress Gal Gadot.
Durant participated in an interview with GQ from India, where he discussed “the Golden State Warriors’ winning season and touches on that game-winning shot, LeBron James, Jay-Z’s 4:44, the tweets, and getting heckled by Rihanna.”
Widely considered one of the best two or three basketball players on the planet, Durant has been under a siege of criticism for the last year-and-a-half for his decision to leave OKC—and especially to do so for the Warriors, a team coming off two straight Finals berths and a 73-win season.
The Warriors, who were only able to sign Durant because of a historic one-year cap boom, now have four of the best two-dozen players in the league. Their collection of talent is unheard of in the modern free-agency era—and perhaps in NBA history.
“To have so many people just say, ‘F–k you,’ that really does it to you,” Durant told Jon Steinberg of San Francisco Magazine. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for…. And for those people that I know and love and trust to turn their back on me after I was fully invested in them, it was just…more than I could take. I was upset.”
Durant was also a lightning rod of criticism after it was revealed he had a burner Twitter account to reply to a fan’s comment on his page. In that post, he criticized Thunder coach Billy Donovan and said the roster lacked star power aside from him and Russell Westbrook.
The GQ interview, in which Durant addresses his social media snafu, will be posted Thursday.