When Kevin Durant retires, the jury will be out regarding which team his legacy will be most associated with.
But in Durant’s eyes, he should be associated with every team he played for – for the rest of that franchise’s history.
In an interview with “The Ringer,” Durant – now a member of the Brooklyn Nets – did not mince words when saying he deserves to be held in the highest regard by both of his former organizations, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors.
“Every one of these places I played is my home,” Durant said. “I can imagine me when I’m done, and I do not think any of these franchises would be like, ‘No, K, what you did here is not a part of our history.’ I’m going to be a Hall of Famer when I’m done, one of the greatest to ever play.
“OKC has to retire my jersey. It wouldn’t even be good for the game of basketball if they did not. The same with Golden State. I’m still doing what I’m doing here in Brooklyn, but if I continue on what I’m doing four or five years, then I’ll feel the same way about this program. I better have a home. Because I feel like I am basketball. I breathe it. This is my DNA. I put in the time and respect and love for each one of these programs on and off the floor to get that type of recognition. “
Durant was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the second pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. He spent a single season in the Pacific Northwest before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, where he spent eight seasons with the Thunder.
In total, Durant played 641 games with Seattle / OKC. He was a seven-time All-Star and scored 17,566 points, grabbed 4,518 rebounds and dished out 2,363 assists.
He won league MVP in 2013-14, was a six-time All-NBA selection, and won four scoring titles. He once led the Thunder to the NBA Finals, where they lost to LeBron James’ Miami Heat in five games.
But Durant would leave OKC on shaky terms, considering he signed with Golden State prior to the 2016-17 season, just weeks after the Warriors defeated Durant’s Thunder in the Western Conference finals, a series which OKC led 3-1.
Durant spent three seasons in Golden State, winning back-to-back NBA titles and Finals MVPs in his first two seasons with the franchise. The Warriors would go to the Finals in his third season, but an Achilles tear for Durant and ACL tear for Klay Thompson helped facilitate the Warriors’ defeat to the Toronto Raptors in six games.
In total, he played 208 games in Golden State, racking up 5,374 points, 1,474 rebounds and 1,123 assists. He was an All-Star and All-NBA performer in each of his three seasons, and became one of just six players all-time to win the NBA Finals MVP in back-to-back seasons.
On Friday’s edition of “Speak For Yourself,” Emmanuel Acho addressed Durant’s stance that his jersey should be retired in both OKC and Golden State, saying that KD should not expect to see his jersey swinging from the rafters in Oklahoma City.
“You blew a lead to the Golden State Warriors, and then you left OKC to join the team that you blew a 3-1 lead to. I ain’t framing a picture of my girl that cheated on me.… I understand that [you and OKC] had some good times together, but you gotta remember that people do not remember what you say – they remember how you made them feel. “
Why Kevin Durant’s jersey will not be retired in OKC
Emmanuel Acho explains why KD should not have his jersey retired in Oklahoma City.
Durant’s jersey retirement is pending in both of his previous homes, as he continues to work toward winning a title in Brooklyn.
And who knows – a few years from now, Durant could throw the Nets into his plot to see his uniform grace the rafters in arenas across the United States.
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