On ESPN's First Take, Kevin Durant issued a stern message to Kevin Durant, reminding him that excuses for failure would not be tolerated for his new team next season.
"We all know that Kevin Durant sat up there and decided to go to Golden State. We also know you get tired because people say LeBron is the "King," he's the man, you're not. You wanted to show if you had some All-Stars with you, watch the noise you would make. Obviously, he did that. But LeBron James now sits here as the reigning, defending NBA Champion, a 4x Champion, who was a man amongst boys as a 35-year-old in his 17th season in the NBA.
You KD, with Kyrie, particularly with Kyrie opening his mouth about how it's the first time in his career that he's gonna have faith in somebody taking the shot ahead of himself. Excuse me, when y'all come back, we're watching. Because Jalen Rose said he's got Brooklyn against L.A. in the NBA Finals. Well guess what, they ain't getting there without KD. We all anticipate LeBron will be waiting. KD in the Eastern Conference, if KD is healthy and Kyrie is healthy, nobody wants to hear any excuses."
Many narratives have been written about Durant's exceptional career, but perhaps none have been louder than the dynamic between him and LeBron James. As Durant has pursued greatness, James has consistently stood in his way.
Stephen A. expects that to be the case next season as well.
"Let's be very clear about something here: Kyrie Irving wouldn't be in Brooklyn if it were not for KD. Brooklyn didn't want Kyrie, they wanted KD... in terms of what they were building, it worked with KD.
In the end, they're both Champions, but they ain't LeBron at this moment in time. LeBron will be waiting for them. and they have to answer the call. That's the story about KD, not whether or not he's still going to still look the same."
After three seasons with the Warriors (and two Championships in three Finals appearances), the 10x All-Star headed to Brooklyn on a four-year, $164 million contract. In a new home, with an All-Star teammate, and coming off LeBron's latest title run, the pressure for Durant to perform will be higher than ever.
Though, after all the talk he and Kyrie have done over these past few weeks and months, they seem ready to live up to the challenge.