Before they played each other for the first time in the NBA during the 2009-10 season, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry already knew one another. The two superstars first met when they were kids on the AAU circuit in Charlotte.
Durant was stunned to see Curry shooting deep 3-pointers as a youngster. He also thought the Golden State Warriors legend, arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history, was white.
Kevin Durant talked about first time he met Stephen Curry
Before the 2014-15 season, Durant, Curry, Anthony Davis, and James Harden did an interview with Ernie Johnson where they talked about the release of NBA 2K15. When Johnson asked Durant when was the first time he met any of the players next to him, the two-time Finals MVP told a hilarious story involving him and Curry.
“I told Steph this. I was about 10 years old, and our AAU team drove down to Charlotte,” Durant said. “And there was one like, I thought he (Curry) was white. This yellow kid, right? Like where I come from, we don’t see the light skin guys. It was always guys like me. I walk in the gym, and this guy just steps across half-court and just pulls the jump shot. So when we played them, he had like 35, and he’s like 10 years old. And I was like, ‘Who is this?’ And 10 years later, oh, that’s Steph Curry. It’s crazy how you cross paths with these guys when your kids.”
Curry, Harden, and Davis began laughing after Durant said he thought Steph was white. It was a humorous moment for the All-Stars.
What’s fascinating about this interview is that Durant not only wound up playing with Curry on the Warriors a few years later after the event took place, but he also reunited with Harden on the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry won two rings together
In the summer of 2016, Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder in free agency to sign with the Warriors, creating one of the deadliest one-two punches in NBA history with Curry. Golden State won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Durant winning both Finals MVPs.
Curry averaged 26.3 points and 6.0 assists from 2016 to 2019 while Durant was on the Warriors. Meanwhile, KD put up 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game in 208 contests with the Dubs.
Several alpha dogs have butt heads throughout NBA history since there is only one ball and every star seemingly wants to be the “man.” However, Curry and Durant got along, both on and off the court, and it’s one of the main reasons the Warriors had so much success during the KD era.
Many pundits believe the Warriors could have won three straight titles had Durant not suffered a strained right calf in Game 5 of the 2019 Western Conference Semifinals against the Houston Rockets. The four-time scoring champion missed the next nine games and returned for Game 5 of the 2019 Finals versus the Toronto Raptors, but he tore his Achilles tendon in what ended up being his final game with Curry.
In the summer of 2019, Durant signed with the Nets as an unrestricted free agent. He missed the entire 2019-20 season rehabbing his injury. However, he not only made his return to the court this season and reminded everyone just how special of a player he is, but he also reunited with Harden.
Nets acquired James Harden from Houston
The Nets acquired Harden from the Rockets on Jan. 13, reuniting the Beard with Durant. The two gifted scorers played with each other on the Thunder and are very close friends off the court.
Due to injuries, Durant and Harden only played in 11 games together in 2020-21. The latter suffered a hamstring injury in the 2021 playoffs and wasn’t able to get back to 100%. As a result, the Nets lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Durant and Harden will try and win a championship together next season. It certainly won’t be an easy task, though, since several stars who were hurt in the 2021 playoffs will be back at full strength in 2021-22.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.