Kevin Durant reportedly was despondent after winning first title
Kevin Durant has moved on from the Golden State Warriors to the Brooklyn Nets following a three-year stint that saw him win two NBA titles and earn consecutive Finals MVP awards.
While Durant enjoyed unparalleled success with the Warriors, things never seemed quite right, as if the superstar felt out of place and unhappy despite accomplishing what he set out to do when signing with the team.
In a deep dive into the seemingly sudden downfall of the Warriors dynasty, ESPN’s Zach Lowe explores how winning his first championship in 2017 left Durant conflicted instead of content.
Durant spent part of the summer after that first championship working with Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant. Nash was struck by Durant’s despondency, Lowe writes.
“He didn’t have a great summer,” Nash told me last year. “He was searching for what it all meant. He thought a championship would change everything and found out it doesn’t. He was not fulfilled.”
The Warriors not surprisingly were pleased with the success enjoyed thanks to Durant’s arrival, though there were warning signs that not all was well with the mercurial and moody superstar.
Durant seemed to withdraw from his teammates as well during the 2017-18 season as the team was in the process of seeking and winning its second title.
He grew so quiet during the middle of the 2017-18 season that coach Steve Kerr summoned him to lunch in Portland before the All-Star break. “I don’t want to lose you,” Durant remembered Kerr telling him.
“He had been drifting a bit,” Kerr told ESPN after the 2018 NBA Finals. “He’s vulnerable. I felt the need to reconnect.”
The Warriors organization was said to be certain that Durant would depart after the 2018-19 season long before it occurred, and it certainly appears that the superstar’s demeanor and evident unhappiness over the course of a couple of years made such a notion completely obvious.