Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for a new experience, and that’s exactly what made him move on from the championship-contending Golden State Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors brought on the highly-regarded future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash as a player development consultant. That was before the 2015-2016 season, the last the NBA had true parity.
After the historic 3-1 Finals comeback by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Durant, who watched the Warriors embarrassed in the Finals, decided to join the Dubs. Three years later, Durant is now a two-time champion.
In those three years, former two-time MVP Steve Nash and the four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant build a strong relationship. Nash, a player that also made a huge mid-career move to join the Suns, understands the mindset of Durant.
According to the Bill Simmons Podcast, transcribed by Yahoo! Sports, here’s what Nash said about Durant’s move to Brooklyn and why he may’ve made the career-altering move.
"“Kevin’s a thoughtful — I don’t want to say complicated — sophisticated, he’s continually pushing himself and searching for whatever it is that’s out there that’s going to fulfill him and excite him,” Nash said. “I think maybe that part of it was underestimated that he would leave in three years, because that’s what led him there in the first place."
This makes sense, and it seems like something Durant would do as well. He was tired of all the drama surrounding him while in Golden State, and he needed to get out of Stephen Curry’s shadow.
A new step in his career, Nash also noted that Durant having his “own” team may’ve been a marginal part of why he left as well. However, Durant sadly won’t be playing on that team till the 2020-2021 season after he tore his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals.
The Warriors will certainly miss Durant. After all, during his three seasons in the Bay, the former MVP averaged 25.8 points per game and increased his playmaking game as well, averaging over five assists per game.
Durant is a much more complete player now than when he joined Golden State.
It’ll be difficult to move on from Durant, but the Warriors, with the help of 23-year-old superstar D’Angelo Russell, will be just fine continuing as a championship contender.