The Warriors title, one of the reasons behind the request for Kevin Durant?

The Warriors title, one of the reasons behind the request for Kevin Durant?

Publicly asking for his transfer three hours before the start of the Free Agency on Thursday evening, Kevin Durant caused a real earthquake on the planet NBA. But if some reasons directly related to the Nets brothel (such as the question of Kyrie Irving’s extension) seem fairly obvious to explain this radical choice, factors outside the borders of Brooklyn also seem to have weighed in the balance. For instance ? The Warriors title just two weeks ago.

If you’re an NBA fan and you’ve been pretty on Twitter for the past two weeks, you’ve probably seen Kevin Durant’s name pop up trending. And this well before he dropped his bomb at 8:49 p.m. French time on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Directly after the Warriors won their fourth title, exactly two weeks before his transfer request, KD was already at the center of many discussions. And this time, as so many times in the past, it’s the legacy of Durant who made people talk. Double NBA champion and double MVP of the Finals with Golden State in 2017 and 2018, Kevin Durant took advantage of his time in the Bay to win everything, but never really managed to win unanimous support despite his success. His decision to join the 73-win Warriors on July 4, 2016 – just weeks after losing to Golden State in the Western Conference Finals – remains one of the most contested star moves to this day. history, and the band’s fourth title won by Stephen Curry called into question KD’s true importance in the Golden State dynasty.

If Kevin Durant left the Warriors in 2019 to join Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving, it is in particular to be able to write his own story. Far from the Bay. His goal ? Show that he can win an NBA title in something other than a dream team made up of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. We can say that KD has just taken a hell of a blowback. While the Warriors were returning to Big League heights just three years after leaving, Kevin Durant won only one playoff series with Brooklyn., the last one ending with a very humiliating sweep against the team that Golden State beat in the 2022 NBA Finals (Boston). Quite a contrast, don’t you think? So obviously, the failure of the Nets project is linked to many reasons beyond the person of Kevin Durant, who has regained his level of MVP since his ruptured Achilles tendon during his final match with the Dubs. But the failure of the Nets project necessarily also represents the failure of Kevin Durant, whose career choices continue to raise eyebrows.

The Warriors won a title before and after the KD period, and KD has never won the title anywhere other than on the Golden State dream team. This reality – although a bit simplistic – solidified the legacy Finals MVP Stephen Curry over the past two weeks while undermining Durant’s. We know that Steph, Klay, Draymond and Steve Kerr were keen to prove that the Warriors dynasty did not stop with the departure of KD in 2019. Because if they are well aware of the importance that Durant had in the runs victorious in 2017 and 2018 against the LeBron Cavaliers, importance which has again been recalled by Draymond very recently, there was this desire for them too to close a few mouths. And they did it brilliantly. Kevin Durant, meanwhile, could only see the impact on the perception that some could have on his place in history.

Le Woj: “I think the Warriors title, and everything that followed, contributed to his decision”

You understood, Kevin Durant did not really spend a good fortnight between the title of the Warriors and his transfer request yesterday. Between those who questioned his legacy and those who criticized his choice to join Kyrie Irving right after leaving Stephen Curry, KD didn’t really have a way out in his usual heated debates on Twitter. And even if he feels that he does not need to do anything more to validate his greatnessit must weigh heavily to hear old legends like Charles Barkley declare all day long that he was not “the bus driver” (namely the boss) during Golden State’s winning runs, and that he needed Golden State more than the other way around to win a bagouze. You add to that a Draymond Green who swung a few fiery declas (like “Stephen Curry was probably doubled seven times more than KD in the NBA Finals”) as well as the ambient mess that characterizes the Nets franchise, and you get an assemblage of elements that obviously made Durant ask for his ticket out.

“The fact that Golden State won the title, and all of the criticism and questioning that fell on Kevin Durant, I think that contributed to reaching the breaking point. »

– Adrian Wojnarowski, on ESPN

Coming directly from Woj, the number 1 insider in the NBA, it still means something. Obviously, the reasons for the request of Kevin Durant are multiple and the title of the Warriors is far from being at the top of this long list. But Golden State’s success seems to have added additional pressure to Durant in his quest for a first NBA title outside the San Francisco Bay Area, he is already 33 years old and has a history of injuries not to be overlooked. Today, KD simply feels that Brooklyn is no longer the ideal place to achieve this goal in the last years of his prime. Instead, he has his sights set on Phoenix and Miami, respectively… leading the West and East in the regular season this year. Not sure that helps legacy that…

What will Kevin Durant’s future look like? This 200 million dollar question does not yet have an answer but we are obviously facing a huge turning point, both in KD’s career and for the evolution of the NBA in the years to come. Somewhere, Stephen Curry and the Warriors must have a good laugh.

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