Kevin Durant felt unappreciated during his time with the Warriors, per report
Durant never formed the bond with the Warriors that he was hoping for
When he returns from the devastating Achilles injury that he suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant will be continuing his career in Brooklyn, as he agreed to a four-year deal with the Nets shortly after free agency began.
Despite all the success that he had with the Golden State Warriors - two titles and two Finals MVP awards in three seasons - Durant still felt that it was time to move on, partly because he felt underappreciated during his short sting with the Warriors.
In an interview with The Undefeated, Durant's friend and former teammate, Kendrick Perkins, revealed the new Net never felt like he got the love that he deserved with the Warriors, and he also felt like he was clearly second in the franchise's pecking order behind two-time MVP Steph Curry.
From The Undefeated:
"While [Kendrick] Perkins wouldn't go into detail, he believes Durant had 'one foot out the door' this past season because the Warriors made him feel unappreciated. A source close to Durant also told The Undefeated there were several things that took place over the past year that caused the star to leave.
While Durant's shocking move to join the Warriors in 2016 quickly paid dividends for him — two straight championships and two Finals MVP awards — there was always the sense that the 10-time All-Star felt like a distant second fiddle to Stephen Curry. The love for Curry in the Bay Area certainly was understandable as he was a homegrown draft pick in 2009 and the face of the franchise. But perhaps it would have helped the Warriors' cause if their fans showed more love and appreciation for Durant's elite achievements. Instead, there was a perception that the world's most talented basketball player just jumped onto the championship bandwagon.
Curry regularly received MVP chants from the Warriors crowd when he shot free throws, while that didn't become commonplace for Durant until this past postseason. And while Curry and Durant always had strong respect for each other, some fans were unhappy a deserving Durant won Finals MVP twice over the more popular Curry."
A separate report from Marcus Thompson of The Athletic suggests that the lack of a true bond between Durant and Curry contributed to his decision to walk away from the Warriors.
From The Athletic:
Neither Curry nor Durant responded to requests for comment. But what was probably unsaid, though, was what could have been. This moment illustrated one of the reasons, perhaps a significant one, Durant left — because Curry and Durant never really got to become Curry and Durant. It might have been the only thing that truly could have kept Durant in the Bay.
"He wanted that type of relationship," said one source friendly with Durant. "It just didn't work out like that."
Durant came to the Warriors in search of a bond. Three years ago, when they met in the Hamptons, the visible unity the Warriors displayed stood out to him. They were four dudes who enjoyed each other and let that connection infect their play. Durant especially wanted that bond with Curry. That's what drew him, according to many behind the scenes... But it never happened, not in the way that would keep Durant with the Warriors.
At this point, it seems like Durant is on a constant search for respect. He left Oklahoma City to find it in Oakland, and when winning titles with the Warriors still didn't do it, he opted to move on to his third NBA home.
Regardless of what happens moving forward, Durant will go down as one of the greatest players of all time. Hopefully, he can find some personal peace in Brooklyn.
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