Kevin Durant wants to see the Golden State Warriors hang his jersey from the rafters one day, and one player whose jersey is already hanging there agrees with him.
Durant said this week that he believes that both of his former teams, the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder, should retire his number after he retires.
“OKC has to retire my jersey. It wouldn’t even be good for the game of basketball if they didn’t,” Durant told The Ringer’s Logan Murdock. “The same with Golden State.”
The request was met with some criticism by Warriors fans, especially since Durant spent only three seasons with Golden State and left on less-than-friendly terms. But one of the greatest players in Golden State’s history is now backing the request, saying it makes sense for the team to retire Durant’s number.
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Durant Makes His Case
Durant explained to Murdock that every stop of his NBA career has felt special to him and hopes every team feels the same about him. The former league MVP said he hopes that when he goes into the Hall of Fame, his jersey will also lift up to the rafters in Oklahoma City and Golden State.
“Every one of these places I played is my home,” Durant said. “I can imagine me when I’m done, and I don’t think any one of these franchises would be like, ‘No, K, what you did here is not a part of our history.’ I’m going to be a Hall of Famer when I’m done, one of the greatest to ever play. If you don’t want me to be a part of your program when I’m done playing, then that’s personal.”
Durant was certainly a part of Golden State’s history, winning two titles in his three seasons there. Though he was never able to win a title with the Thunder, he did win a league MVP there in 2014.
Durant Earns Support
Warriors legend Chris Mullin has already been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and had the Warriors retire his jersey in 2012, and believes that Durant deserves the same treatment. Appearing on “Warriors Pregame Live” on April 2, Mullin told host Bonta Hill that he agrees with Durant’s request that the team honor him.
“100 percent,” Mullin said. “And there are different levels of accomplishment. Kevin Durant’s tenure here with the Golden State Warriors were three NBA Finals [appearances], two Finals MVPs and as you said Bonta, he went out there and sacrificed his body to try to get that third championship in a row. He’s as unique of a player as we’ve seen in the history of basketball. But this generation, LeBron, Steph, they’re setting all-time records. LeBron is going to go past Kareem Abdul-Jabaar [for most points in NBA history].”
Though Durant has taken some criticism for his decision to leave the Warriors and join the Brooklyn Nets, he has pushed back against claims that he abandoned the team. When ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on NBA Today that the decision to leave Steph Curry and join the Nets could be part of his defining legacy, Durant took to Twitter to post a one-word reply: “Egregious.”