The latest round of hot take nation features nearly every sports outlet from Maine to California is discussing how the Golden State Warriors do not need Kevin Durant. It is understandable why they would “leap” to such a conclusion, the Warriors have an all-time record of 31-1 in games without KD that Stephen Curry has played and how the team resembles their 2016 incarnation ( which by the way, may have won 73 games but lost the NBA Finals) in terms of their play style, which many have deemed more aesthetically pleasing, which doesn’t equate to being better.
Before I go any further, the false narrative that Kevin Durant that joined a 73-win team must be addressed. This has been promulgated in order in order to perpetuate this prime example of revisionist history. A close examination of the facts quickly unravels this ball of fabrications. Kevin Durant did not join a 73-win team; the roster he joined was not the same team that achieved that feat a season before. Comparing the 2015-16 and the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors, reveals that the 16-17 team had 9 different players from the previous season. Over half the roster has turned over, including several key and impactful starters and reserves, then it’s absolutely a different team and to insinuate that it’s not is not is intellectually dishonest.
The sentiment that these Golden State Warriors did not need Kevin Durant to beat the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers, or to even get to the finals is not one I really disagree with. In this postseason this was proven to be the case. However what this stance fails to take into account is that Kevin Durant was not signed to help defeat the Houston Rockets, the Portland TrailBlazers or even the San Antonio Spurs- he was brought in to assure the defeat of the Cleveland Cavaliers and help to exorcise the demons of the 2016 NBA Finals. Despite the unlikely series of the events that had to befall the Warriors for Cleveland to win that series, the Cavaliers would possess a clear mental edge over Golden State should they meet again in the Finals. To Golden State’s credit, they realized that and took the steps of trying to improve to overcome any advantage that Cleveland may have held over them. Adding Kevin Durant was not to increase the margin of error for the Warriors, it was designed to obliterate it.
It is from this position the purpose of Kevin Durant being added to the Golden State Warriors must be approached.
With that monster in Cleveland now dispatched and dismantled, KD’s presence in Golden State is now superfluous, as he has accomplished what he was brought in to do. Though from a basketball standpoint, playing with the Warriors has been nirvana, it may be time for Kevin Durant to move on and if they win a third consecutive championship, his departure is a certainty.