The NBA regular season begins in just two weeks, and yet every time Kevin Durant appears in a Golden State Warriors jersey it still feels like a surreal bit of Photoshop wishful thinking.
Based on what we’ve seen in preseason, Durant and the Warriors look like a preternaturally good fit. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Durant can all attack the basket, handle the ball, distribute, and, of course, hit the three. Guarding this unit well for four quarters will be next to impossible.
We said that about the Warriors last year, too, and yet the Cavs managed to solve them when it mattered most.
Have you heard that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead?
On Monday, Durant spoke with the media and revealed that, in a certain way, he felt “glad” that the Warriors lost in the NBA Finals to Cleveland. As he watched them play in the Finals, he explained, he began to understand how much fun he knew he would have playing with them.
From Durant (according to Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News):
“I was telling one of my friends, (my agent) Rich (Kleiman), who’s here, we were watching Game 7. Well, as it started to unfold, it was, ‘No question, no way could you 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 3s, I could just run up and down the court, get wide open layups. I was basically begging him. I was like, yo, this would be nice.”
And then, once the Warriors actually lost Game 7, Durant said he started to realise that joining them might actually be feasible. Said Durant:
“So as I was thinking about my decision and who I was gonna play for, this team came to mind. You know, as they lost, it becomes more and more real every day. You start to think about it even more. To see if I would fit. Then once I sat down with these guys, everything that I wanted to know about them they kinda showed me. But we don’t have to talk about it though because they didn’t get the job done and they came after me and who knows what would have happened. But I guess you could say I’m glad that they lost.”
It’s impossible to know what would have happened had the Warriors won the title. We can speculate all day about whether Durant would have wanted to join them, or whether he would have signed a one-year deal in Oklahoma City, or whether the Warriors would have moved on from Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut (which gave them the cap space to sign Durant) had they just won back-to-back titles.
But there’s no point in speculating. The Warriors did lose, and Durant did sign with them in free agency. And now, two weeks before the start of the season, another Warriors title run already feels inevitable. You can almost understand why Durant is glad that his new team lost.
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