NBA and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant has come under criticism for various reasons throughout his career. However, one major criticism that has always followed KD is about his decision to join the Golden State Warriors from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On ESPN’s morning show First Take, former NBA sharpshooter JJ Redick said he believes that the only reason KD gets so much criticism is because he joined a team that he lost to in the same year. Redick mentioned the likes of Magic Johnson and others to illustrate his statement. He said:
“When Magic went to the Lakers, Kareem was already there. Larry Bird when he went to the Celtics, Robert Parish was already there. Dr. J didn’t win in Philadelphia till they traded for Moses Malone. We just decide to knock Kevin Durant because he joined a team that had just beat his team.”
JJ Redick continued:
“That’s the only reason. If the Oklahoma City Thunder had lost earlier in the playoffs and he had gone to the Warriors, the vitriol towards him would not be the same. I really believe that.”
Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder squandered a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors did the same in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and then recruited Durant in the summer.
They went on to make three straight trips to the NBA Finals thereafter, winning two of them and losing in the 2019 decider to the Toronto Raptors with Durant playing less than 20 mins in the entire series due to injuries.
Kevin Durant’s time with the Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016. As mentioned before, his arrival came after an OKC Thunder team led by KD and Russell Westbrook succumbed to a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals against Steph Curry and company. The franchise and the player decided to team up in the summer after suffering disappointing endings to their respective seasons.
The “Slim Reaper” was undoubtedly the best player on the team. He won the Finals MVP twice in back-to-back seasons: 2017 and 2018. If he was fit, they would have beaten the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals, but the forward suffered an Achilles injury that curtailed his game time severely.
Reaching three consecutive NBA Finals while winning two of them proves that the Warriors had assembled one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the league with Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and KD all part of the roster.
However, KD moved on in the summer of 2019 as he teamed up with Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. This move hasn’t gone to plan, though, as they have won one series in the postseason since he joined the Nets.
Q. Was KD wrong to join the Warriors?