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The Warriors’ victory in the NBA Finals would be a reminder of Kevin Durant

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Kevin Durant has been keeping himself busy, although you have to believe that, given the election, he would have preferred to find other ways to fill his time now that June reaches its halfway point. On Twitter in recent days, Durant — @KDTrey5 — has been engaging other users on a variety of topics: leadership, the development of Kobe Bryant in the mid-to-late stages of his career, his own skill sets of basketball.

He’s offered an interesting look at Durant, who is never shy about opinions.

Notably absent is anything resembling ongoing commentary on the NBA Finals, which resumes Thursday night at Boston’s TD Garden. If Durant had selected a different sliding door in his career, then he would join Steph, Klay, Dray and the team in their attempt to add another championship banner to the collection, this time on a replica parquet floor to help tie it together perfectly. the Warriors. potentially historic legacy in a bright fluorescent arc.

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But Durant chose the door that led him to Brooklyn.

And so the Warriors will try to add a second championship without Durant’s help to the pair they won with him earning back-to-back Finals MVP honors in 2017 and 2018.

Forget for a second the question of whether Golden State winning one pre-KD and one post-KD would do anything to diminish Durant’s own legacy (hint: it won’t) and boil it down to the most basic human element of all. , one that is so easily accessible to you, to me, to anyone with basic human feelings:

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Kevin Durant
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Isn’t that, pick a word, envious? Greedy? Jealous? Reluctantly?

Doesn’t it have to be?

After all, the Golden State was his kingdom, even if the Splash Brothers had done much of the heavy lifting before he joined forces with them. If there was an element of the NBA fan who found Durant’s defection from Oklahoma City inexcusable, especially since the Thunder came so close to ousting the Warriors in 2016 before blowing a 3-1 lead in the Western Finals, there was a much larger segment. that meant watching Durant and Steph Curry play together was a treat we all should have savored more of.

Things may have ended in California on a sour blur: Curry, Durant and Thompson all ended up lame in the 2019 Finals, opening the door for the Raptors to topple them and tipping the NBA map where Durant, busted Achilles and all, ended up. . 3,000 miles to the east, planting his flag in Brooklyn.

The Warriors scrambled a bit, but they’re back in the door, thanks in no small part to the emergence of Andrew Wiggins, acquired by D’Angelo Russell, who was part of the signing and trade that turned Durant into Net. July 2019. Of course, let’s face it: Had Durant simply remained a Warrior, he would be an even bigger part of this Bay Area resurgence than Wiggins could ask for on his best day.

But he walked away from that.

And it’s different, very different, than any residual feeling Kyrie Irving might have from watching his old team, the Celtics, make it to the Finals; it’s impossible to believe, after the way things have progressed for Irving in Boston, that the Cs would be anywhere near these Finals if he were that team’s alpha dog instead of the Jaylen Brown/Jayson Tatum hydra.

What we’ve learned about Durant in his two active years in Brooklyn is that he loves basketball, lives it, breathes it. He is a fan of the game. And he is more aware of his history than most players. He knows what he is missing. He knows what he left behind. Surely, he has seen all the matches.

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Stephen Curry
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Now, he’s also one of the top three players alive right now, and he’s still in his prime, so he probably also believes, and rightly so, that he’ll be back on that stage one day, maybe as early as next June. . And if that happens, Durant will have the last laugh, and it will be at the end of a parade through the Iglesia District, not with other tweeters. As long as Durant is a Net, that’s an image Nets fans can rightly hold on to.

But until that happens? What if the Warriors go out of business in Game 6 or Game 7, and officially water down the moat between them and their Kevin Durant Era? Yes. For now, that would have to hurt.

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