Despite a highly successful three-year run with the Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant still felt he stood out from the team's core due to the personal accolades he'd experienced prior to joining.
The superstar forward listed that feeling among the reasons that contributed to his decision to head to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency this summer.
"I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted," Durant told J.R. Moehringer of The Wall Street Journal. "But I'll never be one of those guys. I didn't get drafted there. ... Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there.
"And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles."
Durant saw Brooklyn as the right fit and a chance to play alongside one of his best friends in Kyrie Irving. He also saw long-term concerns about the Warriors' style of play and wanted to be in a system that allowed him the freedom to manufacture his own scoring.
"The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point," Durant said. "We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we're going to have to mix in individual play. We've got to throw teams off, because they're smarter in that round of (the) playoffs.
"So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me."
Durant averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 boards, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks across 208 appearances for the Warriors. He won back-to-back Finals MVP honors during Golden State's championship runs in 2017 and 2018.
The 10-time All-Star is expected to miss most, if not all, of next season after tearing his Achilles in Game 5 of The Finals against the Toronto Raptors.