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Rumors about Kevin Durant leaving the Golden State Warriors for the New York Knicks was the most-discussed topic among NBA executives at the NBA Combine this weekend, according to Steve Popper of Newsday.
Durant is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there’s been rampant speculation that he has already held a secret meeting with the Knicks and worked out all the details. One former teammate of Durant’s recently said the only thing left to do is for Durant to officially sign the deal.
The Warriors currently hold a 3-0 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals. They are 4-0 without the injured Durant in the playoffs and 30-1 without him overall. They also finished 73-9 the season before Durant joined them in free agency (2015-16).
But why would Durant want to leave the Warriors?
Perhaps because, for all his greatness, his presence with the franchise has meant little. They’re winning all the time, anyway.
“One front office executive said that Durant has been unhappy with the prodding from Steve Kerr and the feeling that he never can be — no matter how great he performs and how many individual honors he compiles — the centerpiece of a team that holds Steph Curry in the hearts of the franchise,” Popper wrote. “In New York, where no stars reside right now, Durant would certainly be the star attraction as well as the player who picks his teammates.”
In other words, Durant went to the Warriors to build his legacy. That hasn’t really happened. He is still viewed as a great player who just happened to hook up with an already great team — and is at least equally as great without him.
But rescue the Knicks? Now THAT would make Durant a legend basketball time would never forget.