Not counting tragic deaths, Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors might have been the most shocking NBA moment of the 2010s.
Some would argue Durant helped his legacy, and others might respond that he ruined his reputation. Durant can thank his father for creating a debate that might continue for decades.
Kevin Durant is an NBA legend
The Portland Trail Blazers may still regret the day they chose Greg Oden over Kevin Durant in the 2007 NBA draft.
Durant, who turned 32 in September, will retire as one of the greatest players in modern NBA history. A 10-time All-Star and four-time scoring champion, Durant has averaged 27 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and a steal per night in 12 NBA seasons.
Durant missed all of last year while recovering from an Achilles tear. Barring a significant setback in the coming weeks, Durant could be active when the Nets open their 2020-21 season.
In 139 career playoff games, Durant has averaged 29.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and an even four assists per game.
Durant stunned the NBA when he signed with the Warriors
The Golden State Warriors were the impenetrable wall to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s steady train.
Down 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference finals, Golden State rallied for three straight wins against Durant and the Thunder. Ironically, Golden State blew a 3-1 lead of their own to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Durant and the Warriors each needed a restart. Golden State had just made its third straight NBA Finals — a streak they’d extend to six — and Durant wanted to win a ring.
Durant stunned the NBA world when he signed with the Warriors in July 2016. It appeared Durant would re-up with the Thunder and pass on jumping to the rival Warriors.
Durant took care of business in Golden State, averaging 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in three seasons for the Warriors. Golden State won two championships in that span and, had Durant not suffered injuries in the 2019 postseason, may have won a third.
Kevin Durant can thank his father for changing his legacy
Kevin Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State is still one of the greatest betrayals in sports history.
Beyond himself, Durant has one person to thank for how his reputation and legacy changed — either for the positive or negative, depending on who one asks.
In an interview with The Undefeated, Durant’s father, Wayne Pratt, said he told Durant to sign with Golden State. Pratt explained he told his son to “be selfish and think about yourself” for once.
“That’s the only thing I could tell him. And it’s hard for him to do that because that is not in his personality. But sometimes in your growth as a man you have to be selfish and make decisions that are based on him and his future family.”
Signing with the Warriors worked out for Durant and his family. Durant won two titles and sealed his place in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Durant will now try furthering his career alongside Kyrie Irving on the Brooklyn Nets.
Basketball fans who are still angry, however, that Durant went ring-chasing should turn their attention to the All-Star’s father.