With Golden State one win away from their fourth NBA championship — and the first since Kevin Durant left three years ago, the new narrative among pundits is that KD must be feeling bad, or as Mike Vaccaro writes Wednesday, “Envious? Covetous? Jealous? Begrudging?”
It has to be one or them? Right?
We don’t know. KD hasn’t talked about it, not while watching Mike James play in Monaco or Athens, not in his back-and-forth with fans on Twitter this week. He and Draymond Green had a brief exchange but not about the Finals or his decision. Mostly, he talks about the game with an occasional mention of a rapper or his business interests.
Of course, it’s legitimate to wonder what he thinks about the Finals and his former teammates and whether he chose wisely between Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. It’s also legitimate to wonder, as the third anniversary of the Clean Sweep approaches, how he views his time in Brooklyn. There are 198 million reasons to believe he is happy, the number of dollars he’ll receive through 2026. His business appears to be thriving and he’s closer to his family down in P.G. County than he’s ever been.
And, of course, his Brooklyn chapter is still unfinished, as Vaccaro concedes.
Now, he is also one of the three greatest players alive right now, and still in his prime, so he probably also believes, and with reason, that he will return to that stage someday, maybe as soon as next June. And if that happens then Durant will get the last laugh, and it will be at the close of a parade through the Borough of Churches, not with fellow tweeters. As long as Durant is a Net, that is an image Nets fans can cling to rightfully and righteously.
Vaccaro also rightfully and righteously dismissed those like Charles Barkley who’s said the combination of the Warriors’ run and the Nets sweep at the hands of the Celtics diminishes his legacy (an odd comment from a great player who never won a title.)
Despite Durant’s lack of verbiage on the Warriors — doubtlessly, he will congratulate them if they win, there is one thing certain: That combination of Golden State success and Brooklyn disappointment will drive him through the long summer and into an even longer NBA season starting in October. We know who he is. He is Kevin Durant.