Kevin Durant is glad the Warriors lost the NBA Finals. Wait a second, Warriors fans, hear him out before you freak out — because it actually makes a ton of sense. Durant spoke to ESPN about his journey through free agency and how the Warriors’ loss allowed him to find a new home.
Durant’s thesis is that the loss kept the Warriors hungry. It left business unfinished and ensured that he would still be pursued by the team he really wanted to be on.
"As they lost, it became more and more real every day," Durant said. "You start to think about it even more. To see if I would fit. Then once I sat down with these guys, everything that I wanted to know about them, they kinda showed me. But we don't have to talk about [what would have happened if the Warriors had won the title], because they didn't get the job done, and they came after me.
"I guess you could say I'm glad that they lost."
Not getting the job done ensured the Warriors wouldn’t stand pat. Had Golden State beaten the Cavaliers, there was a chance that Harrison Barnes would have stayed in Oakland in an effort to keep the band together. Instead, it presented a chance for Durant to become the missing piece in an already beautiful puzzle.
"[My agent] Rich [Kleiman], who's here, we were watching Game 7," Durant told reporters at a ceremony in which the Warriors were presented with the ENCORE Award from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. "Well, as it started to unfold, it was, 'No question, no way could you go to this team.' And I was just like a kid, like, 'I'd really like playing with these guys. I'd get wide-open 3s, I could just run up and down the court, get wide-open layups.' I was basically begging him. I was like, 'Yo, this would be nice.'"
Durant is catching flack from some NBA fans for joining a “super team,” but to him it was simply an opportunity to find a place in a team where his style meshed well. Time will tell whether it pays off on the court, but if it means the possibility of a Golden State dynasty, then losing last season might become the best thing that happened to the Warriors.