Kevin Durant (along with Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan) agreed to sign with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. He made the decision to move on from the Golden State Warriors despite winning two NBA championships with them, and despite the team’s still-bright future.
But Steph Curry wasn’t going to let Durant go without getting the chance to talk to him in person first. Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reported that Curry hopped a plane in Shanghai (where he was doing a tour with Under Armour) and flew directly to the New York area to talk to Durant, hopefully before he made his free-agent decision.
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Curry was too late. According to Thompson, Curry found out about Durant signing with the Nets while he was in flight. But the plane continued its journey to New York, and when it got there, he reportedly met with Durant anyway. Not to angrily shake his fist at Durant for choosing the Nets, but to thank him. From The Athletic:
Curry went to have one last moment with Durant as teammates. To tell him one more time how much he appreciated him for the three years they had. They’d won two championships together. Dominated the league together. Made history together. He was there to wish Durant happiness and peace, express his support for his decision. And when Curry got to Durant’s apartment in Manhattan, Durant confirmed to Curry his decision that their time together was over. Face to face. Man to man. Friend to friend.
Thompson wrote on Saturday that the original purpose of Curry’s trip was to try to persuade Durant to stay with the Warriors, but not through any hard-sell recruiting. Curry was going to remind Durant of how much he and other members of the Warriors enjoyed playing with him. Considering that, adjusting the purpose of his trip wasn’t a major change. But it’s still a classy move for Curry to step off his flight from China and thank Durant for his time with the Warriors when he’d just chosen to sign with a different team.
The relationship between Curry and Durant may be one of the reasons Durant chose to move on. According to Thompson, it wasn’t the type of close relationship, both on and off the court, that Durant sought.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. Curry and Durant are vastly different people, not just in attitude and personality, but in lifestyle. And despite all of that, Durant still won two rings with the Warriors. Now Durant will have the chance to develop the kind of relationship he wants with some of his new Nets teammates. Maybe that will lead to more rings.
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