Kevin Durant had been catching some flak all season, considering the contrasting fortunes of his current and former team. While his Brooklyn Nets were mired in mediocrity and dealt with controversy for much of the regular season, the Golden State Warriors were near the top in the west. The criticism only got worse once the Nets were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics and those Celtics would go on to lose to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Durant's decision to leave didn't seem all that terrible if we go back to last season when he almost carried an injury-riddled team past the Milwaukee Bucks who would go on to win the title. Things have changed dramatically since then, however, and KD's decision to leave Steph Curry to join forces with Kyrie Irving has turned out to be a big mistake. After the Warriors won the title, Stephen A. Smith spoke about how, for all his greatness, KD is going to be talked about as the guy who left Curry for Irving.
"Kevin Durant, with all his greatness is going to be talked about as the guy who left Steph Curry for Kyrie Irving, rather than the guy that we know to be one of the greatest players this game has ever seen, who’s a two time champion and a two time NBA MVP. I did not think he would deserve that. I said it’s coming."
"Kevin Durant, today, is viewed as the guy who left a championship squad to try to do it on his own in Brooklyn."
Until he wins a title with the Nets, this is going to stay with Durant whether he likes it or not. There is no doubting the fact that he was the best player on Golden State during his time there, but they have now won 2 titles and have gone to 3 Finals without him during this dynastic run.
He needs to prove that he can win without them and it's not like he is on a team with sub-par talent going forward. It seems like Kyrie will be staying with the team after there were some rumors of the Nets not wanting to extend him and Ben Simmons should be healthy next season, so KD will have a chance to silence his critics.