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Iman Shumpert shares how the Cleveland Cavaliers reacted to Kevin Durant going to the Golden State Warriors


It may seem like a distant memory given his recent success with the Brooklyn Nets, but Kevin Durant was a member of the Golden State Warriors alongside Stephen Curry as recently as two and a half years ago. In what was deemed by most to be the weakest free agency move by an NBA superstar in the history of the game, Durant joined a 73-9 Warriors team fresh from being on the wrong side of a 3-1 comeback. The move shocked the world, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that had just beaten Golden State in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Everyone outside of Golden State shared the same reaction, for it seemed like adding Durant to the Warriors was a bit of an overkill, given the excellence of the existing version of Golden State. However, Durant and the Warriors front office did not want to leave their title hopes to chance, and the deal was made.

“What for? How could you do that? You just lost to this team and you’re joining them?”

Iman Shumpert, ">The Bootleg Kev Podcast

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Yes, Durant joined a team he and his Thunder had on the ropes in the Western Conference Finals. Oklahoma City was up 3-1 against Golden State until the defending champions mounted one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history. Golden State’s comeback would then be eclipsed by that of Cleveland’s, which the Cavs believed prompted the move by Durant.

“They didn’t have to do it to beat us," Shumpert said. "They needed it to feel superior.”

Superiority was indeed the case for the Warriors, going on to dominantly win the next two Finals series against the Cavaliers. Unfortunately for Durant, he did not get the public validation he sought after two rings and two Finals MVPs. Somehow, many believe that he did not feel validated himself, which prompted the move to the Nets.

Now, KD looks to bring Brooklyn a championship with another stacked team. What puzzles me is that Kevin Durant is arguably the most talented basketball player we have ever seen but seems to always want the cards stacked heavily in his favor when competing for a championship. Is Durant the weakest superstar in NBA history? There certainly is reason to believe that he might be.

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