Kevin Durant came to the Golden State Warriors and averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds. 5.4 assists, helped lead the team to three straight NBA Finals, winning two where he was named Finals MVP and outplayed LeBron James straight up. For those three seasons, Durant was the best player on the planet.
Then, after tearing his Achilles during the Finals, he decided to bolt for Brooklyn.
That led to a lot of backlash in some quarters of Warriors nation (not to mention from the Durant haters out there), but not from Warriors general manager Bob Myers, maybe the man most impacted by the move. Myers went on “The Woj Pod,” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and said he didn’t think Durant deserved any criticism. (Hat tip NBC Sports Bay Area)
“Look, the guy came to our team, was MVP of the Finals twice, two championships, three Finals,” Myers told Adrian Wojnarowski, “what do you want? I mean, what do you want to happen? What do you expect out of a human being? What is the problem with that? But, people would find it and seek it.
“Everybody is so fast to look at what’s wrong with a team, and I was just so focused on — and still am — on what was right with all those things, even in losing. Even in the effort you make to win or lose, there are great experiences there. And so for me — and it may have come from I liked the guy, for all of him.
“A lot of people that comment on him would say he shouldn’t have left or he shouldn’t have done this — everybody’s telling him how to live his life. The way I think about Kevin is … just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean he’s confused.”
Durant has discussed his decision at length, and like every big decision in life it wasn’t just one thing. It was a new challenge, it was the argument with Draymond Green, it was building his legacy, it was building his brand, it was how he fit in Golden State, and probably many other things he didn’t talk about publicly.
And it was his choice. Kevin Durant signed a contract and fulfilled it, then decided he wanted to work somewhere else. That’s his right.
It’s understandable Warriors fans are frustrated, but after the run that team has had the past five years there should be nothing but joy and celebration out of Warriors nation for a while. There are Durant haters who would criticize him if he developed a coronavirus vaccine, and the only person who seems to interact with them is Durant himself.
We should all take a lesson from Myers — accept what happened, look at all the good from that relationship, and move on. But we all know that’s not how NBA fandom works in a social media age.