Kevin Durant shook the NBA landscape after deciding to sign with the Golden State Warriors in free agency. The move still draws significant ire from fans, bashing his legacy and reputation. With the fifth anniversary passing on Sunday, Durant dished back a stern response to the critics.
Kevin Durant criticized about the decision to join the Warriors
Durant shifted the narrative around his NBA legacy by leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder after nine seasons to join the Warriors in free agency.
The optics of the move certainly didn’t help his case as it came a few months following the Golden State coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat Oklahoma City in the 2016 Western Conference finals. It gave many in the media fuel to the fire behind the mantra “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
Prominent sports media personalities bashed him for choosing to join a Warriors team that had already gone to two straight NBA Finals before his arrival. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith went as far as to call it “the weakest move I have ever seen from a superstar.”
Through that all, Durant pushed through to help guide the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals. It included winning the first two trips while earning a pair of NBA Finals MVP awards. Although Durant has since moved onto the Nets, he’s still dealing with backlash from the move.
Kevin Durant shoots off fireworks at NBA fans complaining about his Warriors 4th of July decision
Although Durant has moved onto playing with the Nets, the star forward still receives plenty of criticism from NBA fans concerning his decision to join the Warriors.
Sunday marked the fifth anniversary since the 11-time All-Star announced his massive free-agency decision. With that in mind, Sporting News brought that to attention on Twitter, leading Durant to respond with a slick response to his haters.
“This s–t a holiday now????,” Durant wrote.
Over the last few years, the 32-year-old has heard it all from NBA fans and media alike bashing the decision. The storyline is rehashed through the press every time his team falls short in the playoffs or when another star is rumored to join a stacked roster.
In other words, it’s become a tiresome conversation that he wants no part of because it only paints him in a negative light. It’s also something that sits in the past, and he wants to move forward with his focus directed toward helping guide the Nets to an NBA title.
Regardless of how he feels about it, it will always be discussed because of how much backlash he received. More than that, it’s a chapter of his career that is part of his legacy that will remain a contentious point for some NBA fans.
A special chapter may lie ahead in Brooklyn
Durant will always deal with the critics concerning his Warriors move, but his focus is entirely on guiding the Nets.
The two-time Finals MVP is finally healthy, effectively silencing concerns regarding his surgically-repaired Achilles injury. Durant is the face of the franchise, leading a talented core group alongside Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Although injuries played a huge factor in the Nets’ playoff shortcomings, the team will be one of the favorites to secure next year’s NBA title. The only possible hurdle is the injury bug, as the front office will construct a strong roster around its stars.
Durant is heading into the third year of his four-year, $164.2 million deal that runs through the 2022-23 campaign. The last year of the contract is a $42.7 million player option, which the Nets will likely work out an extension to keep him in place for many years to come.
Beyond that, Durant may have a special opportunity ahead in Brooklyn to establish a unique chapter in his career.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.