It has been almost three years since the historical 2016 NBA Finals, but everything is still fresh to Richard Jefferson’s mind. After posting a 73-9 record, the Warriors emerged as the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2015-16 NBA season. They won three of the first four games in their best-of-seven series against the Cavaliers, but they still failed to win the 2016 NBA championship title.
After suffering a huge embarrassment, the Warriors decided to have a massive upgrade on their roster by signing Kevin Durant in free agency. In a recent interview with Bleacher Report (transcribed by NBC Sports), Richard Jefferson slammed the Warriors for calling their “big brother” instead of trying to have their revenge the following season with the same roster.
“Where I come from, in the park and in the streets, if you’re playing and you lose to somebody, the first words are run it back, same teams, Run it back, same teams, right? We don’t need to change the teams, run it back. That’s how we grew up. Because you don’t want to change anything. Like, no, we felt we were the better team, we just didn’t play well enough so let’s run it back. They didn’t do that. They were like, ‘we need to go reload. We’re going to go get our big brother.'”
Kevin Durant called Marat Kogut “the best player on the floor.” (Marat Kogut is not a player.) https://t.co/bY2NdGmP5c— Slate (@Slate) April 1, 2019
The Warriors’ decision to go after Kevin Durant undeniably made the following seasons boring and less competitive. In Durant’s first two years in Golden State, the Warriors easily won back-to-back NBA championship titles, while the Cavaliers lost Kyrie Irving in 2017 NBA offseason and LeBron James last summer. As of now, the Warriors aren’t only playing with the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Durant, and Draymond Green, but they also currently have All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins on their roster.
Despite the improvements made by several title contenders, the Warriors remain as the No. 1 favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2018-19 NBA season. However, the Warriors’ dynasty is set to face a huge dilemma as three of their core players – Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and DeMarcus Cousins – are set to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Thompson has already expressed his desire to sign a long-term deal with the Warriors, but Durant and Cousins still haven’t given an assurance if they will return to Golden State for another season.
In the past months, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that DeMarcus Cousins will seek a huge offer next July, while Kevin Durant will reportedly leave the Warriors to face the next biggest challenge of his NBA career.