Kevin Durant was a key part of the famous Golden State Warriors dynasty. The team went to three straight finals with Durant and won two NBA titles. However, a recent report from ESPN’s Royce Young claims Durant and Stephen Curry formed an uneasy alliance in the Bay Area and there was conflict behind the scenes.
A tension-filled relationship between Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry with the Golden State Warriors
When Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, many fans felt he was taking the leadership reins from Stephen Curry, who was the face of the franchise. This animosity among the fans was all the more apparent during the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals when Durant won the Finals MVP both times.
Many felt that it was Curry who deserved to be the MVP of the Finals and not Durant, especially in 2018.
On the court, the two appeared to get along well, thanks to the flexibility of their games. But rumors claim there was tension between the two superstars nonetheless.
“There was no animosity or bad blood, but an unspoken tension lingered,” wrote Young. “Durant was the outsider in Curry's domain, the mercenary hired to stack trophies. At least with [Russell] Westbrook, Durant had a bond. An up-and-down one, but one they built together.”
The 'unspoken tension' is likely what prevented Kevin Durant from staying with the Warriors last year and led to his departure to the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant was jealous of Stephen Curry prior to joining Golden State Warriors
Even before he decided to form a superteam with the Golden State Warriors in 2016, Durant was reportedly jealous of Curry, as per Young’s insider info.
“In Stephen Curry, he saw an accommodating, inclusive star, someone to build a relationship with on equal footing,” Young wrote. “But there was always an undercurrent of jealousy with Curry for Durant. Curry was the golden boy, immune to criticism, free to shoot from 40 feet and adored by the media.
“Before he signed with the Warriors, Durant privately complained to friends about the world's infatuation with Curry and the Warriors. Durant longed to be considered the game's best player and was on the heels of LeBron James after winning the MVP in 2014. But he essentially lost a season with a broken foot in 2015, coinciding with the Warriors' ascension, and had to watch as Curry leapfrogged him,” Young concluded.
It’s no secret that Kevin Durant longed to be acknowledged as the league’s best player. He had both the ability and the drive to take the unofficial title from LeBron James.
However, Stephen Curry stole his thunder when the Golden State Warriors guard won the MVP title in 2015 and 2016. Curry also became the first MVP to be voted unanimously during the Warriors’ historic 2015-16 season.
Curry’s rise to stardom came too quickly perhaps and it caught Kevin Durant off guard. In Durant’s case, he has not won another MVP award since 2014. With two Finals MVP awards under his belt after the 2017 and 2018 Finals, Durant probably felt a sense of validation.
Now with the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant has formed a bond with point guard Kyrie Irving. The positive relationship is something he never had with Stephen Curry during his time with the Golden State Warriors.Published 17 Dec 2020, 21:22 IST