Kevin Durant is revered as one of the NBA’s All-Time best scorers but his decision to join the Warriors in 2016 had a huge negative impact on his legacy as a ball-player. In the minds of many fans, he quit on his team to join a team that was already set up to win. He took the easy way out.
Back when the decision was first announced, the reaction from the community was one of shock and even anger. At the time, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went so far as to say it was the “weakest” move he’d seen from an NBA superstar — a statement he still stands by today.
4 years ago, Kevin Durant announced he would sign with the Golden State Warriors and Stephen A. Smith went OFF:
“I’m viewing it as the weakest move by an NBA superstar… you’re jumping on the bandwagon.” pic.twitter.com/cy3QPdLUc5
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) July 4, 2020
It’s hard to deny the “jumping on the bandwagon” narrative. Kevin Durant had a pretty good situation in OKC, but he chose to leave and join the team he lost to — who had won 73 games the season prior and who already had three All-Stars on the roster.
He went there for one reason: to win. And while he accomplished that goal, it came at the cost of his reputation.
Many today still hold that move against him and consider him weak for making it. As for Durant himself, he doesn’t seem to be sweating it very much. After years of fighting with fans on Twitter, he moved to Brooklyn where he will try to win another ring with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. He has become the villain in a sense but has embraced it like nobody else in NBA history.
If you ask him, he probably wouldn’t change anything.