The Oklahoma City Thunder were up 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference against the Golden State Warriors, but then go to lose the next three games and fell to the Warriors in seven games. The Warriors would go on blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and they would end a 50-year championship drought.
During the 2016 offseason, Kevin Durant decided to take his talents to Golden State and join the Hampton Five after Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant all met in the Hamptons.
Durant was recently on All The Smoke with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and revealed that he always intend to join the Warriors after the 2016 season even if the Thunder won the series. In which, he took a lot of criticism for that decision, but he was able to win two championships in three seasons after joining dub nation.
“My mind was already thinking about how I can develop my game more so than the Warriors vs. Thunder, that rivalry. Like, even if it was a rivalry, I didn’t give an f**k — I just wanted to keep developing my game, you know what I’m saying,” asked Durant. “They’re a new fresh team, they’re on the rise. I f**k with them.
So, me going there, it didn’t matter if [the Thunder] would have won or lost the series. I wanted to play there and live in The Bay.”
This was probably a good time for Kevin Durant to share this revelation about joining the Golden State Warriors because if he said this right after he signed back in 2016. The media and the fans all around the world have ripped him apart after leaving Oklahoma City. Back in the summer of 2016, Durant failed to call his former teammate Russell Westbrook to inform him that he changed his mind and was leaving the Thunder. Instead according to reports, Westbrook only received a text message before Durant bolted for The Bay Area.
However, Durant’s admission does line up with the statement he released back in 2016 when he stated he left Oklahoma City to expand his game and improve as a player, and that is what led him to join the Warriors. In the three-season in Golden State, Durant became a more dynamic playmaker and improved on the defensive side of the ball by becoming a better one-on-one defender, as well as a developed into a better shooter on the offensive side of the ball.
Steve Kerr on Durant Leaving Golden State Warriors
Last Summer Kevin Durant was traded to the Brooklyn Nets and would be paired with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. Last month, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was the Posted up Podcast with Chris Haynes presented by Yahoo Sports. During the sitdown, Haynes asked Kerr if he was surprised by Durant’s departure from The Bay Area. Kerr replied No.
“We could just feel it last year. He sort of faded away from the group by the end of the year and just have a feeling about things. We never discussed his free agency that wasn’t my business even though I was his coach,” said Kerr. “I was focused on that season, and I wanted our whole to focus on that season. That was every effort of our staff going into trying to lock-in on the season we were playing and whatever player does in free-agency to him. So, I totally respected Kevin’s right to make a new path for himself in life. I think the main thing now is that we just want him to be healthy.”