Kevin Durant’s departure from the Warriors came as a shock to many. During his 3-year tenure, the Warriors displayed a level of success most teams have yet to experience. Additionally, the team played a selfless style of basketball for an organization who has become the model for player empowerment and positive locker-room dynamics.
As folks have come up with their own explanation for his departure, Steve Nash recently offered up his take on the subject, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process.
“I think I would have thought he would have had such a great experience there that he wouldn’t want to leave,” Nash said on the most recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast. “That would be the surprise.”
“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.
“He wanted something higher, bigger [when he left OKC for the Warriors]. He wanted to experience something different where he would be pushed in new ways, and it’s kind of the same thing that’s happening now.”
As for the idea of having his own team, Nash refuted that point.
“I think that plays a role [in him leaving], but I don’t think it’s everything for Kevin,” Nash said. “I think it’s probably overplayed by the media. I think in some ways, Kevin just wanted a change. … I think him constantly seeking a new challenge and new opportunity and new experience, there’s a lot of layers to him.”
Nash is suggesting that Durant leaving was not a result of any quarrels he had with the Warriors — it was due simply to his desire to explore. He is finding himself, and he is finding new challenges along the path of his NBA journey.
It is unlikely this new direction will be as successful as the last, but it doesn’t mean Durant won’t have anything to gain as a result.