Kevin Durant’s trade request sent shockwaves around the sports world the likes of which have never been seen in the NBA’s 76-year existence.
In the aftermath of dropping one of the biggest Woj-bombs of all-time, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on Friday’s Get Up to offer more insight into the thought process behind the Nets superstar’s seismic decision. A disappointing three-year run next to Kyrie Irving paved the way for a drama-filled offseason centered around the two stars, and eventually led to Thursday’s stunning news.
After citing Irving’s “acrimonious” relationship with Brooklyn’s front office as a key factor, Wojnarowski noted another interesting influence that contributed to the future Hall of Famer’s decision.
“The Warriors winning a championship played a factor in this,” he explained. “I think it exasperated Kevin Durant’s frustration. I think it’s the narrative that surrounded him that he dealt with in the aftermath of him leaving Golden State and then going on to win a title without him, contrasted with what has gone on in Brooklyn in these last three years.”
Aside from becoming the biggest story in basketball hours before the start of free agency, the 12-time All-Star’s request came exactly two weeks after Golden State defeated Boston in the NBA Finals. The fanfare surrounding the Dubs winning a fourth title in eight years re-ignited the ongoing debates surrounding KD’s contributions to that run.
Durant, of course, earned consecutive Finals MVPs after winning the NBA title in 2017 and ’18 alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Most recently, Green, who had well-documented issues with KD during and after his departure, admitted he believed the Warriors would not have won either title had the former MVP not joined the franchise because other teams “started to figure us out.”
Those who remember the impact KD’s time in Golden State had and still has on the league may not be surprised by Wojnarowski’s revelation or Green’s take, but it’s telling to see how Durant reportedly responded to the never-ending chatter. With the door now open for the 33-year-old to join a second team since 2019, Durant could soon find his way on a contending team and an eventual collision course against the defending champs in a dream playoff matchup every NBA fan would like to see.
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