Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant’s names will always be synonymous with each other. For those who may be tardy to the party, Curry and Durant spent three seasons together as teammates on the Golden State Warriors. In their three seasons together, they appeared in three consecutive NBA Finals, winning two titles with Durant winning the Finals Most Valuable Player award on both occasions.
After winning his fourth title this season, Curry has been everywhere. On July 22, he hosted the ESPYs, one of the most noted sports award shows. During one of his segments, Curry aimed at his former teammate Durant, acknowledging the trade request he demanded from the Nets during this offseason, and calling out his desire to be a part of a super team.
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Charles Barkley Has Bold Take About Super Teams
Super teams have become a hot-button topic in the past few years. When LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in 2010 to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, people questioned the integrity of the decision. But after he secured his first title in 2012, more players began to team up.
Players’ legacies are largely decided by how many championships they win. And with that being the case, teaming up with other great players and having a better chance to win has become even more popular lately.
But former NBA players like Charles Barkley are not fans of stars teaming up. In 2018, he told me that he would rather not win than be a part of a super team.
“I would rather not win than be on a super team. It doesn’t matter what option you are. Sports are about competition. It’s about competition. Like, I admire Patrick Ewing for trying to bring a championship to New York. I admire Reggie Miller for trying to bring a championship. I admire Michael Jordan for not leaving when they got beat by the Pistons every year. He didn’t pack up and say, ‘Let me play with Magic [Johnson] or [Larry] Bird,” Barkley said.
“There’s something to be said — When Dirk Nowitzki finally won the championship — he could be like: ‘Yes, I did this.’ It’s easy to get a bunch of superstars or really good players together and say, ‘Let’s build a super team.'”
Adam Silver Sends Strong Message to KD, Other Stars
Durant is on the cusp of entering the first year of a 4-year/ $198 million contract extension he signed with the Nets last summer. So technically the Nets are not obligated to honor his trade request. But if Durant is moved, he will just be the latest star to force a trade while on a max deal. During the NBA Governor’s Meeting in July, NBA Commission Adam Silver called for a change.
“Look, this needs to be a two-way street. Teams provide enormous security and guarantees to players, and the expectation is in return that they’ll meet their end of the bargain,” Silver said of Durant’s trade demand, per Brian Lewis of the “New York Post.
“I’m realistic that there’s always conversations that are going to go on behind closed doors between the players and the representatives of the teams, but we don’t like to see players requesting trades, and we don’t like to see it playing out the way it is.”
Since 2017, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, and James Harden have all forced trades from undesirable situations to go to more favorable ones, despite being signed to max contracts. If a player of Durant’s caliber is added to that list of names, big changes could be on the way in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.