"I like to win so I want Kevin Durant on my team" - Draymond Green to JJ Redick on how KD joined Golden State Warriors, denies calling him right after 2016 NBA Finals

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors high-fives Draymond Green
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors high-fives Draymond Green
Charles Eluemuno

Kevin Durant was roasted in 2016 by OKC Thunder fans after what could be tagged as the biggest betrayal in NBA history. He left the Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors, who defeated them in the 2016 NBA Finals, but not many know the story of how he was recruited.While Thunder fans were distraught with their best player leaving, Warriors fans were over the moon as they knew his addition would make them the league's best team. Coming off a historic Finals loss against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 after going 3-1 up, the Warriors sealed the deal with KD the following season.

The Warriors were already a good team, and KD's addition made them unstoppable. They went on to win two championships in 2017 and 2018, but the story of how Durant was recruited has been vague.

Speaking on JJ Reddick's "The Old Man & The Three" podcast, Draymond Green was asked if the rumors circulating at the time were true, and he said this:.

"No. We were on Facetime actually when I was in the locker room and we were just talking about the game. If you don't know anything else about Kevin, you have to know that he absolutely loves basketball. Kevin would watch 10-year-olds play basketball. He absolutely loves basketball."
"So, he just called me after the game. And we're sitting there on Facetime talking about the game."

Although Green debunked the rumors of him calling Durant in the parking lot after the 2016 NBA Finals, he admitted he reached out to the All-Star forward shortly afterward to get him on the team.

"Actually, the end of the conversation was like, 'Man did you see that? He like you saw it? I'm like yeah I saw it. Me too. Alright, bet," Green said. "So, if there was any conversation of Kevin coming to our team that's as far as it went.
"But the whole notion of me calling Kevin in the parking lot crying is just like some fan who tweeted it, and everybody took off running with it."
"At the end of the day, shame on you if you don't want Kevin Durant on your team. I'm a winner. I like to win so I want Kevin Durant on my team. And that's kinda that."

Things went smoothly for the Warriors as they signed Durant in the 2016 offseason. Green also revealed he had to take a pay cut a year before the 2016 Finals to make Durant's acquisition possible.

The Golden State Warriors reaped the benefits of Kevin Durant's addition

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets

The Warriors exacted revenge on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for two consecutive seasons after their disappointing loss. In both Finals meetings, the Cavs managed to win only one game.

Durant was the difference-maker as he gave them the edge over James. Unfortunately, he hurt his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors, and the Warriors lost their chance at a three-peat.

That marked the end of KD's run with the Warriors, as he signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 offseason. Since his return in 2020, he has been in search of a championship but has not found success yet.

This season looks good for the Nets, as they have fixed their No. 1 problem of the previous season: defense. Durant is currently recovering from a knee injury, but the Nets remain a favorite to emerge from the East. He has averaged a league-leading 29.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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