KD went from a hero to a villain overnight. A lot of people forget it, but after LeBron left for Miami, KD’s first significant career decision was to sign an extension with OKC. To make it a complete contrast with LeBron, he just released a statement, expressing his love for Oklahoma City and the franchise. KD was the loyal guy who stayed with his team, how narratives change.
KD and Russ always were a frustrating duo to watch. There was an evident “your turn – my turn” dynamic, which came down to counting possessions, and not making decisions on how the game was going. Most of the time, it ended with Westbrook shooting when he should’ve passed. Then it was KD’s job to pull miracles out of his hat. It seems like that got old for Durant.
“With OKC, I played with a lot of athletes; I didn’t play with a lot of skill guys. After a while, my game started to grow, and I was like, ‘I need a change,‘ before the season even started. I was like, ‘I’m going to play out my last season as hard as I can. I’m not telling anyone I want to leave, I’m not packing it in. I’m trying to win as much as we can, trying to end this outright.‘”Kevin Durant, All The Smoke
The Warriors were the complete opposite of OKC. A lot of skilled guys, ball movement, and sharing the ball. KD pointed out they were no.1 in assists, something OKC wanted to be under Scott Brooks. A top assist team with Russell Westbrook? Good luck with that. That’s why the Warriors were on the top of KD’s list before his last season in OKC.
As fate would have it, they would land him one of the greatest playoffs comebacks in NBA history. OKC was up 3-1, but the Warriors found a way back. Game 6 of that series sealed OKC’s fate. They were up for most of that game, Steph was cold, and they were ready for the taking. Then Klay Thompson had an out of body experience and one of the most impressive shooting performances in Playoffs history.
“I was tired of playing in that system. I was tired of being the only guy that can make threes, jump shots, and consistently make them. My mind was already thinking about how can I develop my game more so than the Warriors vs. Thunder.”Kevin Durant, All The Smoke
KD pointed out he didn’t feel like he was joining a rival team. Yes, the Warriors were good, but there was no lengthy history between them and OKC. The Spurs and Grizzlies were teams KD didn’t look kindly on and considered them rivals.
“The Warriors were just another team for me. Me going there and playing for them, it didn’t matter if we’d won or lost the series. I wanted to play there and live in the Bay.”Kevin Durant, All The Smoke