Kevin Durant’s stunning decision to join the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016 elicited some very strong reactions from everyone across the basketball landscape.
Many felt he had taken the easy way out by joining a team that had just won an NBA-record 73 regular-season games and lost in Game 7 of the NBA Finals just a year after winning it all.
Others lamented how unbalanced it made the league, as he made the Warriors into a historically great team, at least on paper.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard was one of those who didn’t like what Durant did, and via NBACentral, he said he wouldn’t have done what the superstar forward did that offseason.
Damian Lillard didn’t agree with Kevin Durant’s decision to join Golden State
“I’ve said this plenty of times before. I think KD is obviously one of the greatest players of all time. But if I was in his shoes I wouldn’t have done that, personally.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) September 19, 2023
From a pure basketball standpoint, teaming up with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green allowed Durant to reach the mountaintop, as he won the NBA championship in both of his first two seasons with them while also being named the Finals MVP both times.
But to this day, many refuse to give him full credit for winning both of those rings.
During the 2018-19 season, it appeared Durant had one foot out the door in advance of his impending free agency, and sure enough, he left the Warriors that summer.
The torn Achilles he suffered in the championship series that June, as well as Golden State’s loss there to the Toronto Raptors, seemed to further usher him out the door.
Since then, Durant’s experiment with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets failed, and in February he asked to be traded and was sent to the Phoenix Suns.
There, he now has Devin Booker and Bradley Beal at his side, but although the Suns are one of the favorites to win it all, they have an unbalanced roster, and it could turn out to be their downfall next May or June.
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