Golden State Warriors: Is Kevin Durant trying to topple Steph Curry?

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Kevin Durant
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Kevin Durant /

The Golden State Warriors have one of the best duos in Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, but is the latter trying to usurp the former?

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant make up the best duo in the league. They just won their first championship and are the favorites to win the next several titles. The two stars are in a position to establish themselves as one of the greatest duos ever.

Early in the season, there was a definite struggle. Curry and Durant had to learn how to play together. It wasn’t always smooth.

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Curry got off to a slow start. A year after becoming the league’s first ever unanimous MVP, he took a step back to let Durant get comfortable with his new teammates. The Golden State Warriors were winning and Durant was playing some of the best basketball of his career, but Curry was getting lost sometimes.

Durant’s injury forced Curry to take full control of his team again. After a brief slump, he was playing like the MVP that took the league by storm the last two seasons. He had the Warriors playing their best ball of the year, leading them to the top seed.

Durant played Game 1 against the Portland Trailblazers, but he wouldn’t suit up again until the second round. He was great throughout the postseason and he turned it up in the Finals against LeBron James. He dominated James en route to the Finals MVP and knocked down the biggest shot of his career in Game 3.

While Curry also put out all-time performances in the Finals, Durant received most of the glory. Smart people understand that they worked in tandem though. After the series was over, Durant told the media that people needed to respect Curry for what he does.

A few months later, Durant took to Twitter to defend himself and, in turn, put Curry down. He argued with random Twitter users about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ defense. He, understandably, wanted to point out just how great he was.

Durant had the best series, but Curry was arguably more impactful. The tape shows that. Many times, especially early in the series, Durant was given wide open shots because the Cavaliers were focused on Curry. The Finals MVP attributed this to poor defense and refused to acknowledge that Curry was drawing double teams and giving him extra space.

If that wasn’t enough, Durant had some interesting comments about Under Armour. As a Nike athlete, it makes sense why he’d want to take down the competition. But he, directly or indirectly, threw shade at Curry who is with that brand. Durant is now going for the kill shot by including the Warriors logo on his KD 10 in an effort to continue to win over the Bay.

Durant probably doesn’t like being considered the second fiddle. Even if he is the best player on the Warriors, it’s Curry’s team. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Durant will be more beloved by the majority of Warriors fans than Curry is.

Though they are teammates with the same goal in mind, Durant has his legacy and his brand to think of. While Durant isn’t going to actively root for Curry’s downfall–he’s not that type of player or person–it’s not unreasonable to suggest that he wants more of the glory. It’s clear that the superstar forward has bought into the team first philosophy of the Warriors, but every team has a leader.

He wants to be Golden State’s so that means that Curry stands in his way. That’s understandable from an all-time great talent. Competitors like Curry and Durant should be pushing to be the absolute best, even compared to their teammates.

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Durant’s ego should be huge; every special player has had one. Curry also has one, but he doesn’t need his to constantly be stroked. Still, he demands respect from his peers or, at the very minimum, his teammates.

As long as his pursuit of excellence and unrivaled individual greatness doesn’t alienate Curry, cause any rifts within the team, or disrupt the on-court execution, then Durant should keep doing what he’s doing.