Kevin Durant ‘damn sure’ wasn’t joining Warriors if they won the title
In an interview with Rolling Stone’s Paul Solotaroff, Golden State Warriors new acquisition Kevin Durant opened up about his thought process on leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder and joining a new team.
Durant recalled his recent playoff moments vividly, taking himself back to Game 6, where him and Russell Westbrook uncharacteristically bricked shot after shot against a revitalized Warriors defense, then seeing how Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry caught fire shot after shot, drilling three-pointers from way deep with the greatest of ease.
“It’s like the hand of God touched Klay,” said Durant. “He couldn’t miss. And then Steph went nuts and – well, day-umm…“
After having taken a 3-1 lead, Durant envisioned the celebration and joy the team could bring to their fans for the second time since the franchise’s relocation to Oklahoma City.
“Man, I saw us in the ball caps and T-shirts, with our fans going crazy and dancing,” said Durant. “That town was so good to us, showed us love even when we lost. I wanted it more for them than even me.”
While Durant was a much more effective player in Game 7, Westbrook had completely run out of steam and the Warriors’ defense had figured out his driving patterns and sweet spots on the floor.
“It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave,” Durant said. “Especially after they blew a lead in the finals, because I damn sure wasn’t going there if they’d won. But after Game 7, I called up my agent and said, ‘Damn, dude, Golden State – what if?’ ”
Golden State pushed hard in the recruiting process during the offseason, involving not only agents and front office people, but their own players as well — ultimately getting Durant to join early in July.