Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder is mad at Kevin Durant. He's upset that the superstar joined the Golden State Warriors instead of the Celtics, and he regrets that the Celtics told Durant their game plan for defending the Warriors during their recruiting meeting.
"We were the only team in the NBA to beat both (Cleveland and Golden State) on their home court -- the only team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics," Crowder said. "We told him that. We played him clips from both games and told him basically the scouting report of how we guarded Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) -- our entire game plan, basically. That's what made me mad. We (expletive) told him everything we do to beat these guys, and we beat them, and he went and joined them. I mean, that's part of the process, but I did not think he would go to those two teams ... I felt like afterward, I was talking to Isaiah, like maybe after you sit back, you shouldn't have told him everything, but who the (expletive) thought he was going to Golden State, realistically? It was like a slap in the face for us, basically."
"That team is for sure the villain of the league," Crowder said. "Every other NBA guy, friends of mine, are really disgusted from how the league is turning on that standpoint. Everybody is joining together, everybody wants to go to Golden State or Cleveland."
I'm not one to bemoan the fact that NBA players are friendlier with each other than they used to be, but I appreciate the occasional feud. It's rare for an active player to go on the record -- with expletives! -- about another player's decision in free agency. This is how you liven up the part of the offseason where teams have pretty much made all their big moves.
Let's be honest about this, though. Durant choosing Golden State was not a slap in the face to Boston or any other franchise that pursued him -- taking a meeting does not mean that the free agent owes the team anything. Durant didn't demand that the Celtics show him how they beat the Warriors -- that would be weird -- and they did not have to do so.
Further, it's not like there is some magical formula for slowing down Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Boston beat them in April because Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart played brilliant individual defense, the entire team communicated well, the Warriors had turnover problems and Isaiah Thomas scored 18 points in a quarter. If Durant approaches a Golden State assistant coach and says that the Celtics wanted to pressure the Splash Brothers and make them work on both ends, what kind of response do you think he'd get? It probably wouldn't be, "Hot damn, thanks for that completely new information."
It's interesting, though, that Crowder said that all of his NBA friends are disgusted with the super team in the Bay Area. For the most part, the loudest voices taking that point of view have been former players, fans and talking heads -- Durant's peers have been pretty supportive, at least publicly. Credit Crowder for being honest on this one.