Kevin Durant ruffled a lot of feathers in his WSJ interview. One of the things that caught the NBA’s eye was him talking about his relationship with his teammates in Golden State. KD said he never felt like one of the guys, and yes, shockingly he wasn’t totally happy there.
He did throw one other jab at the Warriors. One of the best teams ever, the best offense in NBA history, and Kevin felt like giving them a few pointers. He expressed skepticism about the movement/sharing the ball offense when it’s crunch time and said iso ball has to be a part of the plan, especially in later rounds.
It was obvious from his OKC days that Durant needs a certain number of possessions. The problem is – his iso play is more efficient than most offensive system. He is that good. That’s why being a part of the Warriors offense means you know you could get your buckets, but still pass the ball. It seems Durant didn’t like the balance of sharing and iso in Golden State. (via WSJ):
“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.”
His former teammate Steph Curry gave an interview talking about his plans to play in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and he used the opportunity to touch on Durant’s comments. It’s not hard to guess what Curry had to say. (via ESPN):
“Well, I don’t care what plays we ran,” Curry said. “We won two championships. And at the end of the day, we had a lotta talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn’t always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself. We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships, too.”
Out of all the Warriors players, Curry sacrificed his style of play the most to accommodate Durant. Even that wasn’t enough for KD to stay. It wasn’t that he didn’t get drafted there. He just doesn’t have that basketball DNA.