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Kevin Durant never intended to stay with Warriors, says Stephen A. Smith

Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith argued former Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant never intended to stay with the franchise for the long run, fully knowing the team would never be his.

The household TV and radio voice appeared on Bill Simmons’ podcast with The Ringer (h/t Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area), sharing his two cents on Durant’s move to the Brooklyn Nets:

“He wanted to go there, win a couple of rings and then move on,” said Smith. “Golden State was never a permanent situation for him from my understanding. That was never going to be the case. He always had intentions to leave because he knew that would never be his.”

Most others believed Durant eventually came to the realization that bringing in two championships still wasn’t enough to gain the fans’ clamor, even after winning two consecutive Finals MVP awards.

Smith is making this sound like Durant knew this from the jump, and there’s very little indication that this was the case until after his second championship parade in Oakland, where an awkward exchange between president Bob Myers and announcer Bob Fitzgerald brought to light how some around the franchise viewed him — a sentiment that directly permeated through the present crowd.

Durant’s initial mission was to grow as a basketball player, which he did by playing another brand/system than he had in his past nine years in the league. The 30-year-old was perhaps not as appreciated by a crowd that had tasted glory before his arrival, but as Smith pointed out, the Warriors would never be his as long as Stephen Curry was on that same roster.