The 2017 NBA Finals was just another accomplishment for All-Star Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. After making consecutive playoff appearances, the Warriors only lost one game on their journey to win the NBA Finals that year. That year was full of headlines and accolades from the star-studded team. However, even as Golden State was at the top of their game, it was still Lebron James who held the NBA’s attention that year and kept his crown as the presumed best player in the league.
It was the summer after the 2017 Finals that Warriors’ Draymond Green noticed a change in Durant’s demeanor.
Draymond Green Says Kevin Durant Changed
According to Warriors’ Draymond Green, who was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year that year, the summer after that championship the team noticed a change in teammate Kevin Durant, who left the team for the Brooklyn Nets two years after.
“In my opinion he got the best of ‘Bron [in the 2017 Finals], like Kevin was f—in rocking,” Green said per Colin Ward-Henninger of CBS Sports. “After that, that was kind of that moment of like, damn Kevin should be the best player in the NBA now because of what he just did to LeBron. And it’s like, you turn on the TV the next day, and the f—in headline is, ‘LeBron James still best player in the world?’ You’ve got Stephen A. [Smith], you’ve got all these people debating it, and everybody’s still saying LeBron James is the best player in the world. That’s when I kind of felt like it took a turn. And then we came back for the 2017-18 season, and Kevin just wasn’t as happy.”
Anyone who kept up with the Warriors, or the NBA for that matter, is acquainted with the rift that Durant apparently had with his teammates in Golden State. An instance being the on-court display between KD and Green which resulted in Green’s suspension and fueled the idea of Durant leaving the team that year.
In Green’s opinion, other stars like Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson didn’t have a change in attitude or play any different than before. It was KD who had a different demeanor, reported CBS Sports’ Colin Ward-Henninger.
“All of a sudden it was kind of just like, ‘F—, why’s Steph shooting this shot?’ or ‘F—, he ain’t pass the ball’ or ‘Why’s Klay shooting this shot?’ or ‘Why he ain’t pass the ball?’ And I’m just sitting there like, ‘Yo, that’s the same Klay and Steph I’ve always played with. Like, they ain’t playing no different than they’ve always played.’ And I know those two guys, they’re definitely not looking you off. They may not see you, because they’ve f—ing got tunnel vision at times, which most scorers do have tunnel vision at times, and that’s why they’re great scorers, but they ain’t gonna never just f—ing look you off. I’ve been playing with them since I came into this league. That ain’t who they are.”
Kevin Durant Was Still Not Satisfied
In that 2017 Finals series, KD averaged 35 points and had a 55% shooting percentage. He was also given the Finals MVP along with his first NBA championship. The following year the team won their second consecutive Finals Championship but this did nothing to dethrone Lebron as the best player in the league.
Despite his accomplishments that NBA season and beating Lebron’s Clevland Cavaliers, according to Green, KD was not satisfied that Lebron was still considered a better player than him. So it appears that KD’s discontentment in Golden State started much earlier than when he left for the Nets.
This upcoming season will be Durant’s first season back on the court since leaving the Warriors two years ago and missing last season due to an injury. From these comments by Green, it seems that division on one of the greatest teams in NBA history was in part due to the King himself.