Although Kevin Durant is one of the 10 to 20 greatest players in NBA history, there are many who refuse to give him credit for his accomplishments.
The main reason is that he has switched teams rather frequently over the last several years, and it all started with his much-publicized departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016, which resulted in him joining the Golden State Warriors.
Durant made that decision while hosting recruiters in the Hamptons that July, and one other suitor was reportedly the Boston Celtics.
Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady was reportedly part of the Celtics contingent that met with Durant, but according to Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent, Brady’s advice actually helped Durant decide against going to Boston and instead head to the Bay Area, via Showtime Basketball.
Incredible story about KD’s 2016 free agency recruitment from his business partner, @richkleiman.
— SHOWTIME Basketball (@shobasketball) September 27, 2023
Durant immediately attracted tons of criticism since he was joining a Warriors team that had won the NBA championship in 2015 and was coming off a record 73 regular-season wins in 2016.
The Warriors had just blown a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, but no one seemed to care, as Durant was criticized for supposedly not wanting to compete or earn a ring.
Golden State did win the next two world titles, both coming against the Cavs, and while Durant won the Finals MVP both years, it did little to quell the criticism, or the perception that they didn’t really need him.
In reality, Durant made many big plays in the 2017 championship series and put his foot on the accelerator every time Cleveland threatened to make things competitive.
In Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals the following year, he had 34 points, five assists, and three blocked shots to knock the Houston Rockets out of the playoffs.
Durant left in 2019 to head to the Brooklyn Nets, and after demanding a trade last year, he was sent to the Phoenix Suns, which, according to his critics, has hurt his legacy even more.
But perhaps in time, he will get the credit he truly deserves for Golden State’s 2017 and 2018 NBA titles.NEXT: Damian Lillard Drops A Telling Song After Being Traded