Draymond Green was still in his uniform after Game 7 last year when he reached out to Kevin Durant.
We know how the story ends—with Kevin Durant and the Warriors hoisting the O'Brien Trophy—but how did Durant's oddyssey from Oklahoma City to winning the NBA championship with Golden State begin?
In some ways, it started in earnest immediately after Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, when the Cavaliers beat the Warriors on their home floor to deny Golden State a second consecutive championship. In the locker room after the game, Draymond Green texted Kevin Durant and offered a recruitment pitch, Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins reports.
"See what we're missing," Green said in the text, he recalled to Jenkins. "We need you. Make it happen."
Green had already started his courtship of Durant, according to Jenkins, but it got serious after the Warriors lost to Cleveland. Durant, whose Thunder had just lost to the Warriors in seven games in the Western Conference Finals, responded with "I'm ready. Let's do this."
It seems the text message exchange may have had a real effect: One Thunder official told Jenkins that "the day Golden State lost, everything changed." The official recalled that Durant's calls and texts were "more distant."
Durant was named NBA Finals MVP after earning his first league title.