Donovan: I don't know if I ever thought Durant was going to come back

by
Kyle Tereda / USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Kevin Durant's decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors may have come as shock to many among NBA circles, but the move was of little surprise to Thunder head coach Billy Donovan.

"I don't know if I ever thought that he was necessarily going to come back," Donovan said on The Vertical Podcast with Woj. "But I thought our meeting went very, very well. I thought it was positive, I thought it was very clear."

Donovan admits that he did little to recruit Durant during his first season as the Oklahoma City bench boss, focusing more on basketball, and less on convincing him to stay.

"I talked to him a lot about the fact that I wanted to help him and our team get better," Donovan said in reference to meeting Durant last summer. "I didn't want to get involved in the free agency talk at all, because one, it really was not my place. I didn't have a relationship with Kevin at all."

While the lack of a strong relationship may have played a part in Durant's ultimate decision to sign with Golden State, Donovan admits that his first season in the pros was an adjustment from the college game.

"The thing that was very different for me as a coach was when you're formulating a college basketball team, you establish relationships with these guys before they come on campus because you've recruited them for two years."