Kevin Durant’s departure from the Golden State Warriors wasn’t all that unexpected. For months leading up to free agency, talks had surfaced of a rift between Durant and the organization, and it was looking increasingly likely that he’d dart in the near future.
While many of the details behind the reasoning of his exit remain unclear, fans are pointing back to this clip in 2018 as a potential breaking point for Kevin Durant’s tenure in Golden State.
The clip is from after the Warriors’ 2018 Championship, which features team GM Bob Myers making some rather ill-advised “jokes” about contract talks with KD.
“I heard you tell Kevin Durant he could have any contract he wants next year.”
Myers: “Year, that was just for the media, he can’t have anything like that at all. Mid-level, behind closed doors.
Because last year, I think he told Steph he could have any contract he wants, too.
Myers: “Yeah that was different. He’s been here from the way-before days, he’s earned it.”
It might not seem like much because, by all accounts, Myers was speaking in total jest. It is worth noting, however, something that Durant said after he left the Warriors:
“I’ll never be one of those guys,” Durant said, via the Wall Street Journal’s J.R. Moehringer. “I didn’t get drafted there … Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there.
“So me? S–t, how you going to rehabilitate me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.”
It sounds like Durant never felt like he was a part of the team. And, no matter how the 2x Finals MVP was feeling when Myers uttered those comments, they couldn’t have helped the dynamic between him and the rest of the team.
Alas, that’s all in the past now anyway. With Kevin Durant expected to return next season from a torn Achilles, he will debut with a new team, with the hopes of finally getting the respect he feels he deserves.