By all appearances, everyone inside the Warriors organization should be sitting on cloud nine. They have one of the most dominant teams ever assembled, they just won their second consecutive title, and they added yet another All-Star to the mix in DeMarcus Cousins. But like every great team that has achieved a certain level of success, Golden State is apparently not immune to what Pat Riley once described as the “disease of more.”
Staying competitive in the NBA is a Sisyphean task, and success is often fleeting, effervescent. A lot can happen in a very brief amount of time, and the league’s tectonic plates are constantly shifting and altering the landscape.
So it shouldn’t be terribly surprising to learn that there were apparently some folks within the Warriors organization who weren’t certain that Kevin Durant, who was a free agent, was actually going to re-sign with the team this summer, despite several previous indications that he would do so.
Here’s what Rachel Nichols of The Jump had to say about that uncertainty among some within the organization during a recent appearance on The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe of ESPN. Nichols claims that it wasn’t until Durant voiced his intention in his interview with her that aired during that Finals that they were certain he would return.
“I had literally three or four people from the Warriors organization call, text or physically come to me and say, ‘Thank you for getting him to say that on camera. We weren’t sure.’”
Now, there are a lot of reasons why this could be the case. It could very well be just the generalized anxiety of him not yet putting ink to paper and making it official. But there’s a new narrative thread that is developing regarding Durant’s legacy in Golden State.
There seems to be a pervading notion that no matter how many titles and Finals MVPs he wins with the Warriors, he’ll never be as beloved in the Bay Area as the original core group of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, a sentiment which GM Bob Myers echoed during their championship parade with a disastrous attempt at a joke, and which subsequently could end up proving darkly prophetic.
Nichols went on to outline the blueprint for Durant’s move to the Knicks and the opportunity for him to play savoir to a long-suffering franchise and bring glory back to the Mecca. It’s a compelling case, and with Durant once again signing just a two-year deal with an option to re-enter free agency again next summer, it’s a possibility that’s beginning to loom larger and larger.