One of the harshest criticisms about Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors is the fact that he joined the team that had just beat him in the playoffs. Scores of current and former NBA players, along with numerous media scribes and legions of fans, see his defection as a sign of weakness, a tacit admission that he wasn’t capable of rising to the occasion to challenge a formidable opponent.
But Durant is now putting forth the caveat that things could’ve turned out differently depending on the outcome of the Finals. Via Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone:
“It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave,” he says, “especially after they blew a lead in the finals, because I damn sure wasn’t going there if they’d won. But after Game Seven, I called up my agent and said, ‘Damn, dude, Golden State – what if?’ ”
Durant does not say, however, that he would’ve remained with the Thunder. Several teams courted Durant aggressively during free agency last summer before he finally agreed to terms with Golden State, so one can only speculate as to where he might have landed. A what-if game like this is enough to send anyone careening down the rabbit hole.