Since July when Kevin Durant made his decision to join the Warriors and put the target on his back, people have been speculating as to what the reason is. Why would he leave a team that was up 3-1 in the conference finals? Why would he leave a team that just added some pieces in the off season with Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Why would he not want to play with another top star in the league with Russell Westbrook?
Kevin Durant spoke about a week ago. This is what he had to say:
“I guess you could say that I’m glad that they lost. As it started out, no question no way you could go to this team. And I was just like a kid, like I’d really like playing with these guys, I’d get wide open threes. I could just run up and down the court and get wide open lay ups. I was basically begging my agent, I was like this would be nice.”
The quote that got all the press was his comment that he was happy they lost. But if you look a little further at his comment, the real reason is revealed. Months of speculation came to an end with this comment.
Hi statement saying he’d like to get wide open threes and be able to run up and down the court freely told me everything that needed to be said. Kevin Durant took the most contested shots in the NBA. How many times did you see him have to create something with the shot clock winding down? How many times did we watch Westbrook pound the ball into the court for 18 -20 seconds and give it to Durant with the clock winding down?
Durant gave us the reason politely. Without throwing Russell Westbrook under the bus, Kevin Durant said he doesn’t want to play with Westbrook anymore. Whether you think he took the easy way by joining Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green you can’t question that he will get more open looks.
I stated after the signing on the podcast that I have no problem with Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City. I just wish he would have went somewhere that didn’t have 3 stars. I would have preferred a home coming in Washington or a signing in Miami somehow.
Whatever you feel on where he signed, the real reason is now out there. And the argument can be made that he has more pressure to deliver joining this start studded team. They are now the favorites. They are under the microscope. Every loss and decision will be scrutinized.
(As a side note, how fun will it be to watch Lebron James this year. He delivered on his promise of a championship to Cleveland. He has little to zero pressure and for the first time in a while he’s the underdog)
Kevin Durant has gone from hunter to the hunted. Only this go around he will get more open threes, more open lay ups, and be able to run the court freely without wearing the same uniform as Russell Westbrook.
(Saxton Podcast NBA preview coming in 2 weeks)