Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry will long be remembered, as one of the greatest duos in NBA history. Durant infamously departed from the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors in the Summer of 2016. Together he and Curry went to three consecutive NBA Finals and won two titles, Durant winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award both times. Durant left a lot to wonder about how great the Warriors could have been if he didn’t depart to join the Nets in 2019. But the greatness of Curry and Durant as a duo is something that will forever be stamped in NBA History.
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Stephen A. Smith Rips Kevin Durant for Decision To Leave Steph Curry
The Nets got eliminated from this year’s playoffs by way of a 4-0 sweep by the Boston Celtics. Curry and the Warriors on the other hand, are four wins away from the their fifth NBA Finals appearance since 2015. ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith believes that if Steph and the Warriors can beat the Dallas Mavericks and make it back to the NBA Finals without Durant, it would put his decision to leave the Warriors under a microscope.
“You were about going someplace on your own, but choosing Kyrie Irving as a compadre, as opposed to Steph Curry. Now as a basketball player, Kyrie Irving is sensational. As far as I’m concerned, he’s on that Steph Curry level, the brother’s spectacular and Kyrie Irving is a hall of fame talent,” Smith said during the May 18 edition of “First Take”.
“But in terms of the drama that comes along with him, considering the fact that Kevin Durant is against drama, he doesn’t want no parts of that. Interfering with a basketball season and a basketball team. It seemed foolhardy for him to make that selection.”
Durant Was Upset With Meyers & Kerr More Than Draymond
Many people around the NBA believed that what pushed Durant to leave the Warriors to join the Nets was a highly publicized argument between him and Warriors forward Draymond Green during a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2018.
With the game tied, and a chance to beat the Clippers on the line, Green grabbed the rebound during the game’s final possession. Instead of passing the ball to Durant, who was right next to him, Green took the ball up the court and turned it over which led to a visibly heated dispute between him and KD. While it has not been confirmed exactly what Green said to KD, it was enough to warrant a suspension from the Warriors. But Durant says he was more upset about the way the situation was handled by Warriors brass than he was about what was said to him.
“It wasn’t the argument,” Durant said to Green during an appearance on “Chips” in August 2021. “It was the way that everybody — Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that that would put the mask over everything. I really felt like that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s*** all out.”
The Warriors, despite losing Durant in 2019 are eight wins away from another NBA title. If that does happen, the pressure could be on for Durant to deliver a ring for Brooklyn.