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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Kevin Durant felt like an outsider during time with Warriors

Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Golden State Warriors could not have been a matter of money or the chance to contend for a title, so he had to have been seeking something else. Many thought he would be drawn to the prospect of rescuing New York Knicks fans from years of torture, but he instead chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets.

Why? Relationships, apparently.

Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic wrote a lengthy piece on Durant’s relationship with Stephen Curry and some of his other former teammates, and the overall theme is that Durant may not have ever really felt the love in the Bay Area. More specifically, Durant envisioned himself becoming close with Curry, and that never ended up happening.

“He wanted that type of relationship,” a source close to Durant told Thompson. “It just didn’t work out like that.”

Thompson says there were no behind-the-scenes issues between Durant and Curry, but the two simply never became as close as Durant hoped they would. Their lives off the court are much different, as Curry is married with kids and Durant is single. That likely played a role, but Durant also chose to join a team that had taken the NBA by storm and already won a championship and 73 games in the regular season before he arrived. It’s only natural that he felt like an outsider at times.

By joining the Nets, Thompson says Durant confirmed that “friendship” is what he valued most with writing the next chapter of his career. He wanted to team up with Irving on the Knicks, but he went with Kyrie’s choice instead. DeAndre Jordan, another close friend of Durant’s, is also signing with Brooklyn.

Durant was clearly bothered by the issues he had with Draymond Green early last season, and perhaps that was representative of his overall relationship with his teammates. Even if the team was able to get past it, it shows that Green didn’t appreciate being questioned by Durant. Would he have reacted that way if it was Curry or Klay Thompson who came at him? Maybe. Probably not.

In Irving, Durant may feel he has a teammate who understands him. Irving has been endlessly criticized for his inability to lead a young Boston Celtics team deep into the postseason, and Durant is hyperaware of that kind of criticism. Now, they can fire back at their naysayers together — one via philosophical rants and the other using fake Twitter accounts.

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