Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors will be synonymous forever. Durant (perhaps infamously) left the Oklahoma City Thunder to go to the Warriors in the Summer of 2016. Together he and the original Warriors “Big 3” of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green went to three NBA Finals and won two titles, Durant winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award both times.
There will forever be a “what if “factor on Durant’s departure from the Warriors for the Nets in 2019, and just how many titles they would have won if he stayed. However, the greatness he and the Warriors put on display during their tenure is something that can never be questioned.
Last season, the Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals to win their fourth title since 2015 and the first in the post-Kevin Durant era. On October 18, the team got their rings and hung their 2022 championship banner en route to a blowout win over the Los Angeles Lakers. After the game, Warriors star Klay Thompson, had high praise for Durant and his contributions to the Golden State Dynasty.
“Give Coach [Mark] Jackson a lot of credit, he saw that potential and Stephen Curry when we were young 22, 23… Give [Kevin Durant] Credit we don’t have 4 [Rings] without him. He helped us get two of them things,” Thompson said during the Inside the NBA postgame show via Landon Buford.
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Durant Sounds off on Lakers Star Russell Westbrook
Before joining Curry, Klay, and Dray in Golden State, Durant spent the first nine years of his career on the Thunder with his co-star Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a former league MVP and, more likely than not, will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
But Westbrook’s stint as a member of the Lakers hasn’t gone how most expected it to. As a result, the All-Star guard has come under heavy scrutiny. On the latest episode of his podcast “The ETCs”, Durant was quick to come to the defense of his former teammate.
“I understand that there’s certain points where you don’t play well, and you are open to criticism when you don’t play well — we get that. But it’s like now you’re making him the butt of your jokes,” Durant said.
“It’s getting to a point where it’s like alright, I get the criticism for what he did that night, but now it’s starting to reach a different level with some shit that I don’t understand right now.”
Durant, Warriors Discussed Reunion
When Durant made his trade demand to the Nets front office during the summer, one of the teams the 12-time All-Star was linked to was his former team, the Warriors.
NBA insider Marcus Thompson of “The Athletic” reported in July that the Warriors superstars were in contact with Durant about a potential reunion. Even though they were less than a month removed from securing their fourth title since 2015, they understood that adding a player of KD’s caliber would only increase their chances of successfully defending their crown.
“The Warriors superstars have been in conversations with Durant. In addition to catching up, the Hall of Fame-bound peers did entertain the idea of a reunion,” Thompson wrote in July.
“It was mostly about the stunning nature of it even being possible. The idea of them playing together again had to seem impossible when Durant left in free agency in 2019. It isn’t lost on them how life has contrived an opportunity for them to come full circle. They see it, like everyone else, and talked about it, like everyone else.”
With both teams back and fully notes the Nets and Warriors could be headed towards a clash in next year’s NBA Finals.