When 11-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant made the (widely unpopular) decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016 free agency, it shook up the NBA landscape. After all, the Warriors had just won an NBA record 73 games the previous season and eliminated Durant’s Thunder squad in the Western Conference Finals after trailing 3-1 in the series. Regardless of how people felt about Durant’s decision to join the Warriors his time there was more than justified. The team went to three consecutive NBA Finals with Durant and won two championships in 2017 and 2018. Durant won the Finals Most Valuable Player award in both of those title runs.
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Kevin Durant Reacts to Stephen Curry Getting MVP Chants
Durant and his former Warrior teammate Stephen Curry are neck and neck in the race for this year’s Most Valuable Player award. During the Nets and Warriors’ last meeting on November 16, Brooklyn got embarrassed by a score of 117-99. Curry, who in the eyes of many is the leading candidate for this year’s Most Valuable Player award scored 37 points in the blowout. That’s when the ‘MVP’ chants started raining down from the Barclays Center rafters for Curry and not Durant.
“Yo, it’s ridiculous. They clowning’ us in the Barclays for the amount of Steph Curry fans that are in there,” Durant mocked Curry receiving MVP chants on the latest episode of his podcast “The Etcs w/ KD.”
“I’m like, ‘Yo, do you not see him in every arena?’ What do you mean like it’s just the Barclays arena where he gets MVP chants and cheers after he hits five threes in a row. It’s just always going to be like that, that’s who he is. That’s what he attracts.”
Stephen A. Smith Blasts Nets Fans, Kyrie Irving
While Durant may not see the Barclays Center crowd chanting ‘MVP’ for Curry as a big deal, not everyone felt that way. ESPN First Take host Stephen A. Smith has not been one to mince words about the Nets this season, particularly about Kyrie Irving. Stephen A was in the building for the Nets and Warriors matchup at Barclays and was not too happy about hearing Brooklyn’s crowd chant MVP for an opposing player.
“They were cheering for Steph Curry in Brooklyn. From opening tap, they were changing M-V-P in the Barclays Center and it wasn’t for the dude averaging 28.9 points a game for the Brooklyn Nets. It was for Steph Curry,” Smith said during a November taping of ESPN First Take.
He also took that moment as an opportunity to express pity for Durant and to let the 2-time champion know that Kyrie betrayed him.
“Kevin Durant, I’m sad for you bro. … You have no help,” Smith continued. “And more importantly than anything else, you made the wrong decision by going to Brooklyn. … KYRIE IRVING BETRAYED YOU!”
James Harden Says Kevin Durant Is the MVP
Despite what the Barclays Center crowd may think, Durant has the support of his teammates. Nets star James Harden doesn’t have a doubt in his mind about Durant being the MVP.
“For sure,” Harden said to ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Durant being the frontrunner for MVP. “He’s overly polished. A natural talent who knows the spots he wants to get to, and he’s going to get there. It’s not on the defender, it’s on him, whether he makes the shot or misses the shot.”
With Durant and Curry both playing at the top of their games right now, this year’s MVP race is sure to be a good one.