After three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning two NBA championships, Kevin Durant parted ways with the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA free agency period. Despite strong efforts from the Warriors to convince him to stay, Durant still decided to leave Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets. Since he joined the Nets, several NBA rumors have been circulating regarding the main reason behind Durant’s departure from the Warriors, including his controversial heated exchange of words with Draymond Green during the 2018-19 NBA season.
However, as of now, Durant has nothing but gratitude to the team that helped him achieve numerous milestones in the past three years, including becoming a two-time NBA champion. In his recent interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Durant described his stint with the Warriors as a “life-changing experience.”
“It was a life-changing experience,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “I grew up as a young adult in OKC and then entering my 30s in Golden State was an enlightening experience, getting to play the game and reaching that level with the players of different backgrounds. It was just so much that went into that experience that elevated me mentally, physically and elevated my game. It was a fun time and I appreciate all that we accomplished together.”
Spending day in LA with KD: First interview in two months, Kevin Durant on choosing Brooklyn, how things ended in Golden State, who’s to blame for his injury, rehab update and untold stories. https://t.co/Szu0lXbCQJ— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 7, 2019
Kevin Durant’s free-agency decision in the summer of 2016 didn’t only change his life but also the entire NBA landscape. After Durant joined the 73-win Warriors’ team that retained the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, Golden State had become the heavy favorite to win the NBA championship for three straight years. Unfortunately, the Warriors failed to join the elite three-peat club last season as they were dethroned by Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals 2019.
As of now, Durant has a new goal in mind which is to help the Nets win their first NBA championship title. After the successful acquisition of Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan in the 2019 NBA free agency period, the Nets have managed to turn themselves from an above-average team to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. Unfortunately, Nets’ fans will be needing to wait a little longer to see Durant play again on the court as he’s expected to spend most of the 2019-20 NBA season recovering from an injury.
Meanwhile, despite losing Kevin Durant, the Warriors remain as a legitimate threat in the deep Western Conference. It’s worth noting that the Warriors didn’t lose Durant in the 2019 NBA free agency without getting in return. In a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets, the Warriors managed to acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell in exchange for Durant.