Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr leapt to the defence of recruit Kevin Durant, insisting the 2014 NBA MVP is one of the "most likeable people in the league".
Durant has been cast a villain after swapping the Oklahoma City Thunder for Western Conference rivals the Warriors as a free agent in July.
The seven-time All-Star has come in for criticism following his decision to leave Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City, a place he had called home since 2008, however Kerr threw his support behind the 27-year-old.
"To think of Kevin Durant or Steph Curry or any of our guys as villains, it's kind of absurd. Especially Kevin," Kerr told ESPN on Sunday.
"This is one of the most likeable people in this league. He's just an awesome human being. What he did in Oklahoma City was just amazing for that community.
"Circumstances kind of dictate, I guess, that some people are going to see him as a villain. But it's only because he decided to go elsewhere to play. He wanted to change his scenery, he wanted a new challenge.
"More than anything he wanted to play with our guys. He loves Draymond [Green] and Steph and Klay [Thompson] and Andre [Iguodala]. Seeing those guys in New York, he loved seeing the chemistry that exists and he wanted to be a part of it."