Skip to main content

"We're still going to take you down" — Kobe Bryant's unique perspective on Kevin Durant's decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016

Kobe Bryant's response could be included when it's time to evaluate Kevin Durant's legacy.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant

Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant

Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016 was met with disgust by some fans and analysts. Interestingly, Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant — one of the fiercest competitors to have ever lived — offered a very unique perspective.

That’s unfair

Months after the 73-win Warriors bowed down to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, Durant signed a two-year, $54.2 million contract with the Dubs. Analysts deemed this the weakest move by any superstar in history. Fans said Durant had tarnished his reputation. Bryant, who had just retired after 20 years in the league, shared his thoughts on the matter.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, 'That's unfair,'" he said. "If you're a real competitor, you look at that and say, 'OK, lace 'em up. Let's go. I don't care how many players you have over there; we're still going to take you down,'" Bryant said, per The Jim Rome show via Bleacher Report.

Die-hard fans of Kobe wouldn’t be surprised by these comments. The Black Mamba was the type who never backed down from competition. A few years ago, a clip of Devin Booker complaining about the double teams being sent at him during a pick-up game went viral. Booker said he shouldn’t be double-teamed since he gets it all season long. Kobe was asked for his thoughts in the viral video. He said that the other team should send another defender to him.

Durant’s legacy

Despite Bryant’s unique perspective, this chapter in Durant’s career will be questioned over and over again once he finally hangs up his jersey and sneakers. From time to time, superteams do form in the NBA. It’s just the tried-and-tested formula to win a string of titles.

But what made Durant’s move odd was that he joined a team that was already a contender. In fact, they won 73 games in the regular season — the most in NBA history. And so do the Warriors, despite giving up a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals need the help of another superstar? If Durant didn’t join them, would the Warriors suddenly turn into bottom feeders and not have another shot at the title?

These are some of the questions that will be debated in the coming years when it’s time to evaluate Durant’s legacy. Whatever side you’re on, you better believe it’s going to be an interesting debate. 

January 31, 2023; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James dribbles the ball up court against New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden

Another game, another historic night for LeBron James against the New York Knicks

Last night LeBron James put up another performance for the record books

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and power forward Anthony Davis

Jeanie Buss says the Lakers are built around Anthony Davis; talks about their chances to make the playoffs

Lakers owner and President Jeanie Buss talked about how the team can be optimistic after Anthony Davis’ return to the lineup.

Dwayne Casey & Luka Doncic

“We've seen worse, remember I coached Gary Payton and Kevin Garnett.” - Dwayne Casey downplays Luka Doncic’s exchange with Detroit Pistons’ coaching staff

Luka Doncic engaged in back-and-forth with the Detroit Pistons' bench on Monday, which Dwayne Casey downplayed and even liked

Michael Jordan & Kenny Smith

Kenny Smith reveals when he first knew that Michael Jordan was a special player - "He would just dominate guys"

Smith said he was taken aback by Jordan's work ethic over the summer, and how Jordan could dominate in pick up games with North Carolina's returning NBA alums

Joe Mazzulla

Joe Mazzulla doesn’t seem to care that he will be coaching Team Giannis in the 2023 NBA All-Star Game at all - “Nothing…I don’t care”

Mazzulla doesn't seem to care at all that he will be coaching in the All-Star Game, and his hilariously short responses show his indifference to taking part in the festivities

Kobe Bryant & Baron Davis

Baron Davis shares what happened when he played a random game of 1 on 1 against Kobe Bryant at UCLA

Baron Davis talks about that time he played a random game of 1 on 1 with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant while he was practicing at UCLA

Deni Avdija

Washington Wizards’ Deni Avdija shares an interesting story about his new nickname “Turbo”

After the trade of Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija has thrived in his improved role with the Washington Wizards earning him a new nickname Turbo