The end of the NBA Finals marks the beginning of NBA smack talk season, and Kevin Durant is kicking it off in style. The Thunder star isn’t quite convinced of the hype surrounding the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, and Durant took to Twitter to rain a bit on Leonard’s (championship) parade.
The @UpTheThunder Twitter account has screencaps of Kevin’s comments on Kawhi, which came in the wake of the Spurs’ thumping of the Miami Heat to win Game 5 of the Finals and the NBA championship trophy. The exchange sort of speaks for itself:
Of course, as we pointed out earlier today, Taiwan’s Tomo Animation studio has a much different take on Durant and the Thunder’s performance against the Spurs. It’s funnier than screencaps of Durant’s Tweets, as well.
“Put Paul George on the Spurs,” Durant writes, “what would happen?” Now there’s a question.
Durant must have soon after realized the tempest his comments would cause; he deleted the tweet shortly after posting it. Because even Kevin Durant knows that’s the way to make certain that everybody acknowledges your tweet had no importance and then forgets it.
As to Durant’s assertion that the Spurs’ system has made Leonard into a player better player than he might otherwise be, Durant may have a point, but perhaps only because the Spurs’ system is a well-oiled machine the likes of which the NBA has not seen in some time. Durant’s Thunder appeared to have much the same kind of quality system in the works, but then they gave away James Harden to the Rockets, and the flaws in Durant’s team became readily apparent.
After making a name for himself in last year’s Finals — in which the Spurs beat Durant’s Thunder only to lose to the Heat — Leonard had a truly breakout performance this year after the Spurs once again made it past Durant’s squad. The Spurs’ Big Three had solid contributions, but observers like CBS Sports are dubbing this Finals the beginning of the “Kawhi Leonard Era” in San Antonio.
Perhaps Durant’s a bit jealous, though, no? After capturing the hearts of the nation with a truly moving dedication of his league MVP award to his mother, Durant and the Thunder got pushed out of the Playoffs by Leonard and the Spurs. Having that squad go on to win the championship, having Leonard hold up the MVP Finals trophy — it may all have been a bit much for Durant.
Or maybe the league’s reigning MVP just has his own take on Kawhi’s skill level, given that Durant played a few games here and there against him. You never know. It’s the NBA offseason, and there’s little other to do than talk about hypotheticals for the next few months.
Lead image via FanSided.