After three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning two NBA championships, All-Star forward Kevin Durant decided to part ways with the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA offseason. Despite strong efforts from the Warriors to bring him back, Durant chose to leave Golden State as an unrestricted free agent to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets.
As of now, Durant has yet to address his departure from the Warriors, but former teammate Kendrick Perkins has an intriguing idea regarding what forced KD out of Golden State. In a recent interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, which is currently posted on Twitter, Perkins said that his altercation with Draymond Green during the 2018-19 NBA season played a major role in Durant's decision in the 2019 NBA free agency.
"KD never bounced back from the Draymond situation. And I think the Warriors had a chance to sign KD, but when that situation occurred – and the Warriors tried to clean it up by suspending Draymond. But they suspended Draymond, and then about two months later, the owner comes back out and says that he wants Draymond there for life, right? He wants him there for life," Perkins said, as quoted by For The Win. "It's hard to say they took [KD] for granted, but I think he felt like it was best for him to leave. And it's hard to overcome that. There were some harsh words."Perkins was talking about the heated exchange of words between Durant and Green in one of the Warriors' games against the Los Angeles Clippers last season. During the altercation, Green reportedly called Durant a "b*tch" and reminded him that the Warriors have managed to win an NBA championship title even before he arrived in the summer of 2016. Durant and Green have managed to fix the issue, but Perkins believes that KD has yet to move on from what happened.
The departure of Kevin Durant undeniably hurt the Warriors' chances of reclaiming the title next season, but with the core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, Golden State remains a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. Also, the Warriors didn't lose Durant without any compensation since they managed to acquire All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets. Russell may not be as good as Durant, but he could still somehow fill the void he left on the offensive end of the floor.
The arrival of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan has arguably turned the Nets from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. However, Nets fans will be needing to wait a little longer to see Durant play as he's expected to spend most of the 2019-20 NBA season recovering from an injury.