Rumor: Stephen Curry flew back from Shanghai to pitch Kevin Durant


Kevin Durant is a member of the Brooklyn Nets. His decision was made on June 30, announced via an underwhelming Instagram “video” message. It was perfectly Durant, truth be told.

The Golden State Warriors wanted to keep Durant, but apparently their final salvo in trying to keep him in Northern California never happened.

According to The Ringer’s Bill Simmons, Stephen Curry was flying back from Shanghai to New York in order to speak with Durant one final time. It’s a flight that takes more than 12 hours, and a significant gesture by Curry.

But Simmons says that Curry never got the chance to speak to Durant before his decision went live. Speaking on his podcast this week, Simmons says that Curry’s plane didn’t land until an hour after Durant announced his Brooklyn signing on IG.

That reportedly rubbed the Warriors the wrong way.

Via The Bill Simmons Podcast, transcribed via Mercury News:

“The Warriors still feel like they have a puncher’s chance to get him,” Simmons said. “Enough that Curry is going to fly back from Shanghai to New York and land on Sunday night, right after free agency starts, and he has this determined time with KD to just talk with him and put a bow on everything. Either, ‘Hey man, here’s how we feel about you…’ and convince him to stay, and if Durant’s not going to stay, they’ll talk about that.”

“Curry … decides to do the dignified thing and he goes to meet KD anyway,” Simmons said, “basically to say goodbye to him. But, from what I’ve heard, the Warriors took that personally.

“Because, by all accounts, undeniably, Curry is one of the best teammates in the league. And one of the best teammates in a long time. And has just always kind of looked out for KD and defended him and all that stuff.

“And it just was (crummy). That’s what I heard.”

This is certainly a way to burn a bridge if this is how things went down.

Plus, folks outside the organization weren’t happy about it. Just look at poor Smash Mouth.

Durant seems like he just wanted to play with his friends on the Nets, which is fine. But the way things went down may not have been on the up and up.