Nick Wright and Cris Carter: Kevin Durant’s pursuit of the GOAT label may lead him away from Golden State

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Nick Wright and Cris Carter talk NBA. Hear why they think Kevin Durant would leave Golden State Warriors in free-agency.

- Why would Kevin Durant want to move on? Because I think a lot of people look at a situation and say, you have everything you want and you already made a big decision. Why aren't you comfortable here?

NICK WRIGHT: Because he knows that if he had done what he did over the last two years and in--

- Somewhere else?

NICK WRIGHT: In an Oklahoma City uniform, or in any other uniform, he would be the unanimously considered best player in the world if he went toe-to-toe with LeBron in the finals and won.

CRIS CARTER: And he wouldn't have that backlash. He wouldn't have that hate, love, hate thing, like people coming at him. And that's something, obviously. LeBron realized that when he tried to be the villain when he went to Miami, like, I'm going to be the villain. LeBron was like, listen, I'm not a villain. I don't play a villain well. It's not my real character. Kevin Durant is not that mean, tough, fight, bad guy. No. And I think because he's been criticized so much, Nick, that's why he said this time--

NICK WRIGHT: Oh.

CRIS CARTER: --I'm going to be honest.

NICK WRIGHT: Absolutely. Because we know he's in his mentions on every social media platform and he really-- it does affect him what people say, or at least-- he would say it doesn't affect him but he at least sees it. He at least cares enough to respond to it.

- And he reacts to it.

NICK WRIGHT: But-- so there's the non basketball and there is the basketball part of it. The reason he would leave on a basketball perspective is to give himself a chance to take the crown from LeBron, rather than get it by default. Like, it's one thing to overtake a guy who's best player in the world, it's another thing for the guy to just simply age out of it.

CRIS CARTER: Right.

NICK WRIGHT: For LeBron and you're 19, like, OK.

CRIS CARTER: Right.

NICK WRIGHT: And so if he--

CRIS CARTER: When Michael Jordan retired the first time, someone became the best basketball player in the world. But it was by default.

NICK WRIGHT: Right.

CRIS CARTER: Because the best basketball player decided he was going to do something else for a couple years. Then once he came back, Michael snatched that back. He immediately-- now, after that playoff game, he realized I'm not the best player. After that Orlando series that summer, we saw him that next season, he was back to the best basketball player.

NICK WRIGHT: And know what it-- by the way, Jordan, I would argue, took it about three years before he won his first ring. Like people don't give Jordan nearly enough credit for those late '80s Bulls' teams when they weren't great, but he was-- he averaged 37 one year-- that he was the best player, took it from Bird and Magic, whoever you want to argue, and no one ever took it from him. He gave it away twice, because he retired twice.

CRIS CARTER: Um, yes.

NICK WRIGHT: Nobody ever took it from him. Durant knows-- and this is probably the basketball part of the regret man-- if we don't blow that 3-1 lead to Golden State, if I get my second chance at LeBron in the finals, maybe we win. And over the next couple years, certainly, with Kyrie left, if we could have played that Cavs' team in the finals when I'm not on a alread-- already champion in Golden State, people would say I'm the best. And he can't get that in Golden State. They could go win again--

CRIS CARTER: Right. That could have been the first time he beat LeBron.

NICK WRIGHT: Yes.

- Got it.

CRIS CARTER: All right.

NICK WRIGHT: And so--

CRIS CARTER: Compared to joining Steph, Klay, Dray, and they beat the Cavs.

NICK WRIGHT: And he knows that if I put up in a lab, hey, here's how it's going to go in Golden State. You're going to hit the shot to win the first finals in LeBron's face. The next finals, you're going to hit the shot on the same spot on the court to basically end the sweep. That was the goal, 3-0. And everyone is still going to say, but you ain't better than that guy. So why would he leave? For that reason. And to get the thing that LeBron got when he went to Cleveland, which is the validation of a title that people say is yours. The titles in Miami were different than the ones--

- Right.

NICK WRIGHT: --in in-- the one in Cleveland. And if he were to win in New York or anywhere else, it'd be different.