Steph Curry, Warriors bothered by timing of Kevin Durant’s announcement?
Stephen Curry went out of his way to meet with Kevin Durant after Durant announced on Sunday that he was signing with the Brooklyn Nets, and many were surprised that Curry flew such a long way just to say goodbye. It would make more sense, however, if Curry was flying around the world to convince Durant to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors and never got a chance to give his pitch.
Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported that Curry flew from China to New York to meet with Durant, but the trip ended up being about “respect” and “thanks” rather than recruiting. Thompson added that Curry wanted to be there “to wish Durant happiness and peace (and) express his support for his decision,” but it seems obvious his initial goal was to make one final pitch to KD. According to Bill Simmons, the fact that Durant did not even give Curry that opportunity irritated the Warriors.
Here’s some of what Simmons said about the situation on the latest episode of his podcast.
“The Warriors still feel like they have a puncher’s chance to get him — enough that Curry is going to fly back from Shanghai to New York and land on Sunday night, right after free agency starts, and he has this determined time with KD to just talk with him and put a bow on everything,” Simmons said. “Either, ‘Hey man, here’s how we feel about you…’ and convince him to stay, and if Durant’s not gonna stay they’ll talk about that.”
For whatever reason, Durant didn’t wait until Curry arrived to announce his decision. Simmons was told that that surprised the two-time NBA MVP and rubbed the Warriors the wrong way.
“About an hour before the plane lands, all of a sudden it’s KD is gonna be announcing on his Instagram that night, all this stuff and Curry’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it gets announced he’s signing with Brooklyn,” Simmons said. “Curry’s plane hasn’t landed yet. He lands and decides to do the dignified thing and he goes to meet KD anyway, basically to say goodbye to him. But, from what I’ve heard, the Warriors took that personally.”
Curry is a classy guy, but flying 16 hours from China to New York just to hang out with Durant and support his decision seems like a grand gesture even for him. It’s not hard to believe he still felt he had a chance to persuade Durant, and maybe Durant gave him the impression he’d hear him out.
The relationship between Curry and Durant sounds like it was a bit complicated, so perhaps Durant didn’t want anyone else trying to change his mind. We’ll probably never know.