Kevin Durant‘s journey has left fans and former champions with lingering “what if” moments. Durant, a two-time NBA champion, left the Golden State Warriors in 2019 after three seasons, during which the team secured two championships and made three consecutive Finals appearances. The decision to depart drew criticism, particularly from Warriors legend Rick Barry.
Barry, expressing confusion, questioned Durant’s choice to leave a successful team under the guidance of coach Steve Kerr. He emphasised the essence of team sports, stating, “That’s why you’re supposed to be playing in team sport, isn’t it? To win titles.” Drawing parallels, he mentioned the historic breakup of Shaq and Kobe, likening it to Durant’s departure from the Warriors. Barry even went as far as suggesting that he would willingly sacrifice a portion of his salary to be part of a team like the Warriors.
Hakeem Olajuwon, another NBA legend, echoed Barry’s sentiments. Olajuwon found it perplexing that modern players, including Durant, opt for team changes in pursuit of championships rather than displaying loyalty to the team that drafted them. This sentiment aligns with Olajuwon’s earlier commentary on Durant’s departure from the Warriors.
Kevin Durant’s Final Season with the Warriors
Durant’s last season with the Warriors faced challenges, including an on-court dispute with co-star Draymond Green and a significant injury during the 2019 NBA Finals. Despite the team’s success in the initial years, Durant sought to prove his individual worth outside the Warriors organization. The decision, however, raised eyebrows and spurred discussions among NBA legends about the changing dynamics of player loyalty and championship pursuits.
In the ever-evolving landscape of professional basketball, Durant’s departure from the Warriors stands as a pivotal moment, prompting reflection and debate among fans and basketball greats alike.