Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors in the offseason in 2019, choosing to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn instead. Even though Durant is widely considered one of the greatest players ever, his two championships had only come when he played alongside Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors' core, making them a dynasty.
With the Warriors back in the NBA Finals for the first time since KD left this season, there is a lot of conversation about legacy and what it all means if they win another championship without Durant. The man himself has indulged in the talk about Stephen Curry's impact or supposed lack thereof in his Finals MVPs, going back and forth with Draymond Green on Twitter.
And while there may be differing opinions on whether KD or Steph was more important to those Warriors teams that won back-to-back championships, the stats don't lie, and the team's records in those years when one of the stars was missing tell a tale of its own.
When the two were on the floor together, the team had a winning percentage of 78%, while Steph's absence brought that down to a comparatively poor 57%. What makes this incredible is that when Steph was on the floor and KD was missing, the win percentage over 31 games went up significantly to 87%.
This is a simplistic way of looking at it, considering that the strength of the opponent, the availability of other stars, and the scheduling would all have to be taken into account to get an objective view of their impact, but it is still a telling stat considering that both have a sample size of over 30 games.
Durant and Curry undisputedly both benefitted from having each other on the court to draw the defense's attention, and that was part of what made that Warriors team a juggernaut. The arguments over legacy will always continue in NBA media, especially if Curry wins another title and Durant never does, but the ability to have played them both on the same team will always go down in history as a cheat code for the Warriors.