Kevin Durant had a lot of suitors in free agency, but in the end, the Golden State Warriors were too good to pass up.
“They have their motto, ‘Strength in Numbers,’ and I think it was a number of things that helped strengthen Durant’s arrival in Oakland,” The Undefeated’s Marc Spears said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I know Jerry West (helped, and so did) the owner and the GM and (Steve) Kerr. But I think it was the players. He’s played with Curry, and he’s played with Iguodala in USA Basketball, so he’s familiar with them, trusts them. He’s become close friends in recent years with Draymond Green and has grown a trust there. So he turned to them and basically said, ‘Why should I think this will work? Will the chemistry be ruined?’ And he didn’t say a whole lot, from what I was told. But they were able to convince him that not only would the chemistry be great – it’s a completely unselfish team – but that he’d be getting the easiest shots of his life.
“But I do think one thing in particular that helped probably push Kevin Durant over is Steph Curry texting him,” Spears continued, “and saying, ‘Look, man, there’s no ego here. If you score more points than me, if you sell more shoes than me, if you get the MVP – I won’t be jealous. I’ll be happy for you. I just want to win. I want to win championships. I think you can help us do that.’ I think (the players) were the ones that convinced KD it was a good move for him.”
Curry and Durant finished first and third, respectively, in the NBA in scoring last season with averages of 30.1 and 28.2 points per game. Thompson finished 12th with 22.1.
“Look, they were the funnest show in sports as it is,” Spears said of the Warriors. “Now imagine them with him. How much did you enjoy watching them without Kevin Durant last year? I think he understands those guys with the Warriors get it. Steph could average more. So could Klay. As long as they win, everybody’s going to be happy. It’s hard to complain when you’re winning.”
Durant, of course, was widely criticized for joining the Warriors. Many people felt it was weak for him to join a proven winner, especially when Oklahoma City could have – and probably should have – beaten the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.
Spears doesn’t see it that way.
“I think the only way he ends up getting beat up is if they don’t win,” Spears said. “The Warriors should have won this last one. With all due respect to the guys on the Warriors, he’s better than everybody they got.”