Kevin Durant raised more than a few eyebrows this summer, and not just by signing in Golden State. The process involved with that decision spawned thousands of tweets and words from all kinds of angles and, of course, the Lakers were a part of the story -- though not as large a part as they probably would have liked.
Monday afternoon, Durant fielded questions after the first official Team USA practice and, as you might expect, they pertained to his free agency decision. What he had to say about the Lakers shed some light on why he wouldn't even take a meeting.
As disrespectful as it might have been (it wasn't disrespectful at all), Durant's reasoning was solid. His number one priority was winning a title and what better way to almost guarantee that for himself than by aligning himself with potentially the greatest team to ever grace a basketball court?
Here's the quote, via Kurt Helin:
Durant on Lakers: "I really respect their team, but I think they're a couple years away from where I want to be."— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) July 18, 2016
While this clarification of sorts wasn't absolutely necessary, as we all should've known where Durant was coming from, claims of disrespect should probably cease for good moving forward. All the Lakers can do at this point is watch D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the other kids develop while adding other pieces to make themselves a more impressive destination on the court.
If, in another couple years, Durant finds himself a free agent again and the Lakers come calling with a developed core and a championship direction, a meeting can take place with an actual purpose, not posturing out of respect's sake.