Warriors

Kevin Durant reveals when he knew he was signing with Warriors, business partner says that's 'hardly factual'

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Kevin Durant reveals when he knew he was signing with Warriors, business partner says that's 'hardly factual'

On Tuesday, Bloomberg hosted the second annual Players Technology Summit in San Francisco.

Andre Iguodala's business partner, Rudy-Cline Thomas, moderated a Q&A session with Kevin Durant and his business partner/agent/close friend Rich Kleiman.

Before asking any questions, Cline-Thomas shared the following personal anecdote:

"Remember 2017, you just lost to the Warriors -- no 2016, you had just lost the Warriors, May -- you and I get together after the game. I thought I was just gonna focus on not talking about basketball, and you wanted to focus on talking about Silicon Valley -- asking me how it was out here.

"You had been following what Andre and I were doing, how it was being surrounded by all these CEOs, innovators and entrepreneurs. And I was like, 'Wow. First and foremost, like yo -- this dude just told me he's about to sign with the Warriors, right (laughter). So, I was like I'm not gonna tell anybody, didn't tell anybody whatsoever, didn't want any rumors to get started..."

Innnnnnteresting.

Cline-Thomas then asked Durant when he started thinking differently about his business opportunities.

"Probably about 2015, I had got hurt. Basketball had always been my world ... it stopped, and I had to think about other parts of my life and what I was interested in ... it was rough because I didn't know what I wanted to do or what I liked or what type of person I wanted to be ... I started to hear about Andre and more guys around the NBA -- especially that play for the Warriors -- that took advantage of the opportunities of being in the Bay Area.

"So throughout that whole year, me and Rich were talking about investing in companies and what I like to do outside of ball. Then I (saw) you and just all those questions came out at once and I was basically telling you I was coming to the Warriors (laughter)."

Does Durant still pick the Warriors if Golden State wins the 2016 title?

Remember that during the 2017 Finals, Draymond Green told ESPN's Zach Lowe: "If we win the championship, I'm like 99 percent sure we don't get him."

About 20 minutes later, Cline-Thomas asked Kleiman what he has learned from Durant over the years:

"Well I just learned that he told you in May, before free agency -- which is hardly factual, which we'll have to clear up with Marc Spears and everybody here (laughter) -- no way did that happen, but cool... (laughter)."

It's funny that Kleiman mentioned Spears (who works for The Undefeated), because in late June 2016, one of Durant's longtime friends told Spears: "His decision is 90 percent made. It would take an amazing sales pitch to change it."

The assumption was that Durant was 90 percent sure he was going to re-sign with the the Thunder.

That was not the case.

One other nugget from the summit:

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

Steph Curry and the Warriors ran roughshod over the NBA for five years, reaching five consecutive NBA Finals and putting together the league’s greatest regular season ever with 73 wins in 2015-16.

The 2019-20 season has not gone quite the same for Golden State, as Curry remains out since suffering a broken hand on Oct. 30. The Warriors now own the league’s worst record at the All-Star break.

It’s safe to say players around the NBA haven’t exactly sympathized with the organization’s precipitous downturn.

"Let me be honest with you," Giannis told reporters Saturday during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. "The players, we kind of enjoy that he's not playing -- not enjoy that he's hurt. We want him to be healthy, but he just makes it way, way tougher for the rest of the league."

[RELATED: Iguodala opens up about Steph defending him on social media]

It’s not the first time players have publicly stated their appreciation for the Warriors no longer being the unstoppable force they became in the 2010s.

The guard definitely has made life more difficult for defenders over the years, as Curry owns four first-team All-NBA honors as well as the most 3-point field goals among active NBA players.

Curry is aiming to return to the court in early March, and the Warriors will play the Bucks on March 14. Antetokounmpo’s reprieve from facing the two-time MVP might not last much longer, then. 

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

If you had a dollar every time someone compared Steph Curry to Trae Young, you'd have a lot of dollars. 

It's an obvious comparison. The Warriors star and the face of the Atlanta Hawks are electric, undersized point guards who can drain shots from just about anywhere on the court. 

Young surely has heard of the similarities countless times, but that doesn't mean he minds the reminder. 

"Who wouldn't want to be compared to MVP and a guy like that," the 21-year-old told reporters Friday ahead of the NBA Rising Stars Challenge. "I don't necessarily get into all that. I don't mind it. I'm glad I'm getting compared to a guy like him than somebody else. It's not a bad thing."

Curry has missed all but four games this season after breaking his left hand a day before Halloween. The two-time MVP will be re-evaluated March 1, and he'll return to the court soon after. 

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard arguably has seized the reigns as the NBA's most ridiculous shot-maker in Curry's absence -- seriously, just look at the Oakland native's game logs since the start of 2020 -- but Young isn't far behind. Young is averaging 29.7 points per game and making 36.9 percent of his 3-point shots. 

[RELATED: Paschall impresses, leads Team USA to Rising Stars win]

He's not quite Curry, of course. The three-time NBA champion has never shot worse than 40 percent from deep in a season in which he played at least 50 games. Curry could retire today as the NBA's fifth-most proficient 3-point shooter (43.5 percent), while Young didn't even cross the 40 percent threshold in his one year at the University of Oklahoma. 

Young's cabinets are missing the hardware that fills Curry's, too. But being mentioned in the same breath at this point in his career? That's more than enough for Young right now.