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Warriors’ Stephen Curry explains why he flew from Shanghai to New York to see Kevin Durant

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant

Why did two-time league MVP Stephen Curry fly from Shanghai, China, to New York City to speak with Kevin Durant if his former teammate already made up his mind about his free-agency decision?

It’s a complicated answer, but Curry, now facing a season without Durant and Splash Brother backcourt mate Klay Thompson, sidelined with a torn ACL, has an excuse.

Via Marcus Thompson II in The Athletic:

Stephen Curry maintains he didn’t fly to New York from Shanghai so he could pitch Kevin Durant on returning to the Warriors. He wanted to get out there earlier, but his Asia tour with Under Armour prevented it. He hadn’t seen Durant since the No. 1 free agent on the market tore his Achilles and planned all along to pay a visit.

But before the free-agency frenzy started two weeks ago, Curry needed to say something to Durant, face to face. There were things Curry wanted to look him in the eye and convey.

Curry went on to say this:

“I knew full well it was decision time, whatever way he was going to go. There was no need to pitch. He knows what we’re about and what we accomplished. He just had to make a decision that makes him happy. That’s what everybody wants to do in this league. It was more about a respect factor, not letting the BS of this league get in the way of our relationship, and not let it change who I am or anything like that. I feel like he just knew what he wanted. And at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for as a player.”

Ultimately, Durant decided to leave the Bay Area for the Brooklyn Nets—joining point guard Kyrie Irving and center DeAndre Jordan. The three played together for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, winning a gold medal.

In the article, Thompson adds that Curry left Asia to see Durant one last time for “closure.”