National Basketball Association

Not So Golden

April 16

When Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors in July 2016, it was expected to be a match made in basketball heaven.

The Warriors were coming off of a 73-9 regular season and two consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. The team also featured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sharpshooter Klay Thompson, and a deep collection of role players who could make life easy on Durant, one of the greatest scorers the NBA has seen.

And on the court, the marriage worked.

Durant won two championships with the Warriors, along with two Finals MVP awards in three consecutive Finals trips.

But off the court? Apparently, things weren't so rosy.

Reports this week suggest that Durant believed the local media favored Curry over him and that it caused the fans to pick sides when it came to the two superstars.

Hindsight is in fact 20-20, at least if your name is Shannon Sharpe.

Months ago, Sharpe warned Durant that he wouldn't feel the love from Bay Area fans in comparison to Curry.

"I don't know what KD thought, I really don't. I laid it out very elaborately for him. Steph, Klay, and Draymond are New Edition, and Johnny Gill joined. Johnny Gill could out-sing them all but he was never going to be accepted because he didn't grow up in Boston like they did."

Stephen A. Smith discussed the rift between Durant and the media on First Take on Thursday morning. His belief is that Durant's issues didn't lie with Curry personally, but rather he took issue not being viewed as the best player on the team.

"Kevin Durant was the better player. Kevin Durant was the best player on the Golden State Warriors. There has not been a time where Kevin Durant was a worse player than Steph Curry."

This news seems to be par for the course for Durant at this point, considering he's had run-ins with the media multiple times in the past.

Skip Bayless is no stranger to being caught in the crosshairs of Durant, relaying a story from Durant's days in Oklahoma City.

"I believe it was in the 2011 season, some nine years ago when he was an Oklahoma City Thunder in my hometown of Oklahoma City and I was his biggest fan. But as big of a fan as I was, all of a sudden out of the blue one night, Kevin Durant called over a reporter from The Oklahoman and blasted me, saying I didn't know basketball because I was criticizing his teammate Russell Westbrook."

After three seasons in Golden State, Durant now calls Brooklyn home and doesn't have to worry about being in the shadow of an already established franchise icon.

Maybe now, he can find the appreciation he thinks he deserves.


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