Bob Myers’ dig at Kevin Durant maybe more than eyes let on
Bob Myers’ gaffe during the Golden State Warriors championship parade might have been a spur of the moment misstep, but one that is actually telling of the relationship between Kevin Durant and the franchise.
While his jab at Durant getting the “mid-level extension” or having not been there since the beginning like Stephen Curry, as awkward as it was, was meant in jest and in true light-hearted manner.
Yet, there is some truth to it — the Warriors had to court Durant, rent an expensive room in The Hamptons and bring a star-studded cast away from their families and vacation plans to convince him to join.
They had to go through a process of selling him on the culture, the unselfishness, the team play, the everything — and had to go to lengths they never had to go to with the likes of Curry, Klay Thompson, or Draymond Green — all homegrown talents.
There is a sense that Curry, having garnered two MVP awards in his own right, is still the face of the franchise, but Durant’s two Finals MVP awards serve as a reminder of how pivotal he’s been in the Warriors’ last two titles.
Tim Kawakami of The Athletic clearly understood the pulse of this jab and why this choice of words — as insignificant as it may seem — could matter down the road.
“Here was the problem with that Q&A setting: All the players were sitting there, and owner Joe Lacob, too,” wrote Kawakami. “Generally, making Durant’s contract the focal point at that moment was a weird choice, because you’re doing it in front of the entire team. You semi-slight Curry by bringing up somebody else’s monetary value in front of him and you make up for it by slighting that person? Weird.”
“Remember, even though Curry and Durant have had no issues with each other, there is still this silent, gigantic push and pull within the franchise about Curry’s established and permanent leadership position and all the new personal and basketball dynamics added by Durant.”
Curry and Durant have no personal issues, but the gravitational pull is there, as Golden State is trying to tie up the second most important pillar this offseason, securing a long-term contract that will keep him in the organization for longer than the now popular one-and-one deals.
The mood turned awkward, as fans even responded to the slight, which Myers only made worse by saying Curry had “earned” his contract by being with this team since 2009.
“Why was that even a discussion?” Durant responded. “Why we even talking about that? For sure, we going to do this thing again.”
In that Q&A, Durant was the only man saying the right words, in a back-and-forth that perhaps got too awkward, too quickly, too unnecessarily, and too regrettably soon during a moment that should have been celebrated, not incinerated with pointless speculation.
Durant has left a team before, and he could leave a team again — so how does Myers make up for this gaffe? — by doing exactly what he initially said he would do and give him what he wants.
Nothing in the NBA says “I love you” like millions attached to a name, and the reality is that Durant gave that up — several millions actually, to prove his allegiance to this system — now it’s time for Myers to patch up an awful blunder with the green stacks that can erase any memory.