Kevin Durant is back in the news if not in uniform. A new book is stirring the controversy pot about KD’s time in Golden State. Ethan Sherwood Strauss’ The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty celebrates the Golden State’s success before, during and after Durant’s time in Oakland.
In an excerpt published Tuesday, Strauss recounted a face-off he had with Durant over an article Strauss wrote for The Athletic —one that highlighted the sacrifices the Warriors had made for Durant in their offense. Durant accused the writer of trying to “rile up” Stephen Curry’s fans:
”I tried to make a few points, saying I didn’t begrudge him for having leverage with his contract, and insisted that I had good reason to write what I wrote. KD wasn’t impressed and accused me of trying to ‘rile up Steph’s fans.’ He expressed that this was a constant theme in the Bay. All of us local guys just wanted to kiss Steph’s ass at his expense. This was KD’s consistent lament.”
Oh dear. This comes after Joe Lacob, the Warriors owner, opined that KD’s departure for Brooklyn may ultimately work out for Golden State, that like his time in Oklahoma City, he wasn’t “comfortable” in the Bay Area...
“This is really an odd thing to say, but him leaving when he did may have turned out to be the right thing. For him, certainly, I want him to have a good career, enjoy himself. He felt it was obviously not the right thing to stay. He wasn’t quite comfortable. I can’t explain why. I don’t know why. But for whatever reason, he moved on. But he wouldn’t have played this last year. He was injured. We would’ve had a huge payroll as a team. Maybe this is the best thing.”
Such controversy! Even Stephen A. Smith checked in on the controversies. pointing out (with commendable accuracy) that as good as Steph Curry is and has been, he ain’t Kevin Durant.
Stephen A. has an explanation for KD's frustration with Warriors' media https://t.co/lZ7AblVZV8— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) April 15, 2020
Ay yi yi! Of course, all this will resurrect the Durant-Draymond Green in-game dispute that KD has admitted was a factor in his decision to leave the Warriors for the Nets. Yeow!
Okay, fine. That’s Golden State’s issue. Not Brooklyn’s. Kevin Durant is a Net now and at some point, he and Kyrie Irving will take the court together, depending on what Brooklyn native Dr. Anthony Fauci tells us. But wait, skeptics will ask, didn’t Kyrie have problems with his teammates in Boston, too?!? OMG!
So how can these two superstars work together?!? We won’t until that night sometime in the future when Nos. 7 and 11 are announced as starters.
In a mailbag Wednesday, Brian Lewis dismisses any such fears...
Yes, the season is going to have its ups, downs and frustrations. Durant admitted that an endgame spat with Green in 2018-19 “definitely” played a role in his decision to leave Golden State for Brooklyn. And it was Irving’s frustration with some Celtics teammates’ ways — arriving in Miami at 2 a.m. on Jan. 9, partying in South Beach, then getting routed by the Heat — that poisoned the well in that relationship.
But the Nets are hoping different circumstances will lead to different results. This is home for Irving, the first NBA destination that he has chosen. And the pair are friends, and have talked about playing together since teaming with buddy DeAndre Jordan to win 2016 Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro. I don’t do the prediction thing, and I can’t say how they’ll react to the first losing skid or rough patch, but I’d think they have enough respect for each other and history between them that they’d handle their on-court mistakes better than those other situations.
An anyone who doubts their ability to form an on-court brand should remember that both have experience playing —and winning— with other superstars, whether it’s LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, etc. Three NBA titles out of seven trips to the Finals, two Olympic golds and two FIBA World Cup golds make for a nice joint resume.
Take it from Stephon Marbury, who has no dog (dawg?) in his fight other than as a fan. Here’s what he told Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson ...
“I think those two on the court [are] going to be pretty magical. I think it’s going to put things in perspective as far as how good they really are and what their capabilities are. Because … Kyrie Irving is a different monster. And Kevin Durant is a different monster. And them two together because they have good energy with each other and they’re on the same page they’re going to flow perfectly. So I think it’s gonna be good.”
Similarly, Kenny Anderson told Scoop B that he thinks the Nets are championship material.
“Nets are going to look beautiful. I’m excited for their season with Kyrie and Kevin Durant running the show.”
- Nets mailbag: Why Kevin Durant won’t have Draymond Green moment with Kyrie Irving - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant’s jealousy of Steph Curry sparked reporter blow up - Howie Kussoy - New York Post