Kevin Durant’s final season with the Golden State Warriors is still causing controversy two years later.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr opened up on the former league MVP’s final season with the team in 2018-19, hinting that there was more behind-the-scenes drama than anyone had previously let on. The comments attracted some attention and even a cryptic reply from Durant himself.
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Kerr Opens up About Durant’s Final Season
Speaking to Logan Murdock and Raja Bell on The Ringer’s “Real Ones” podcast, Kerr opened up about his different experiences as the coach of the Warriors, including the squad that went 57-25 in 2018-19 but fell just short of a title. When looking back on that season, Kerr implied that the fun times during the first part of the team’s five-year NBA Finals run had worn out by Durant’s last season with the team.
“The first four years of our run — the coaching was way more fun,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We were joyful and everything was really simple and no agendas. And then that last year, things kind of went haywire. Even though we went to the Finals, it was difficult.”
The Warriors coach went on to say that he enjoyed last year’s 15-50 campaign more than the final season with Durant, hinting that there was more going on behind the scenes than anyone knew at the time.
“I enjoyed last season — when we had the worst record in the league — more than I enjoyed that last season when we went to the Finals. We had young guys last year who were trying every day, working hard. We had a great energy, great spirit, great camaraderie. Losing sucked.
“But what you want is a good vibe. You want to look forward to going to the gym every day and seeing everybody. That last year was tough — when we lost to [the] Toronto [Raptors] in the Finals.
There was a lot going on, some that you know about and some that you don’t. That was very difficult.”
Durant Responds to Kerr
The remarks prompted a terse and cryptic reply from Durant, who took to Twitter with what appeared to be an incredulous comment: “This is hilarious.”
This is not the first time that the once behind-the-scenes drama boiled to the surface. Back in 2019, Durant addressed his exit from Golden State and the role that Draymond Green played in his decision to leave. In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Durant spoke about the sideline confrontation with Green that took place a November 2018 game, when cameras caught Green using some harsh language with his teammate.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Green called Durant a “b****” and questioned his commitment to the team, which ultimately earned Green a one-game suspension from the Warriors. As Durant said in his First Take appearance, the incident weighed on him.
“I mean, your teammate talk to you that way, you think about it a bit,” he said. “But you know, like I said, we talked about it. But definitely. For sure. I’m not going to lie about it.”