Kevin Durant faced questions for the first time on Tuesday since a report that he’s been recruiting Houston Rockets star James Harden to join the Brooklyn Nets.
He denied the report and chastised media for reporting the news to begin with.
Durant, preparing to make his Nets debut after sitting last season with an Achilles injury, addressed the topic in a video conference with reporters on Tuesday.
Durant: ‘You’re making these stories up’
“I don’t know where you’re making these stories up that me and James talked about any of this at a workout,” Durant said, per The Houston Chronicle’s Matt Young. “I don't know where that came from. James is a friend of mine, but I let the front office handle all of that stuff.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ramona Shelburne and Zach Lowe reported in November that Harden told Houston Rockets management that he wants to be traded to the Nets and that the idea spawned from summer workouts in Los Angeles between Harden and Durant.
Durant didn’t name Wojnarowski or any other reporter by name during his media session. But he made clear that he was accusing the veteran NBA reporters of making up news.
KD on the rumors about him talking to James Harden about playing with the Nets: pic.twitter.com/lIcCQEVOqz
— Cassidy Hubbarth (@CassidyHubbarth) December 1, 2020
“I heard all the noise, and I heard that James potentially wanted to come to the Nets,” Durant continued. “Anybody can make up stories. Anybody can write a story and it get some traction.”
Harden has two years remaining on a four-year, $171 million contract that carries a player option for the 2022-23 season. He reportedly turned down an extension worth $103 million over two seasons. Harden may want to join his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate in Brooklyn, but it’s up to Houston if he stays or goes.
Durant’s attacked media before
Meanwhile, Durant apparently doesn’t want his name attached to the drama in Houston, especially with the risk of being accused of tampering. Per the NBA’s tampering rules, players are explicitly prohibited from recruiting players under contract with other teams and risk suspension and fines at commissioner Adam Silver’s discretion.
In 2019, he did call a reporter out by name, accusing The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss of making up news about his impending free agency from the Golden State Warriors.
Now that he’s back in the media spotlight, he’s leaning again on a fake news narrative about a report including his name.
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