Warriors

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant felt like 'distant second fiddle' to Steph Curry

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant felt like 'distant second fiddle' to Steph Curry

For several years now, Steph Curry has been considered the most popular and revered athlete in the Bay Area. When it's all said and done, he might be at the very top of the region's all-time list.

And apparently, the love that fans feel for Curry partially is reponsible for Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors to sign with the Nets.

Marc Spears of The Undefeated had the details Sunday, after Durant made his decision:

A source close to Durant also told The Undefeated there were several things that took place over the past year that caused the star to leave. While Durant’s shocking move to join the Warriors in 2016 quickly paid dividends for him — two straight championships and two Finals MVP awards — there was always the sense that the 10-time All-Star felt like a distant second fiddle to Stephen Curry.

Perhaps it would have helped the Warriors’ cause if their fans showed more love and appreciation for Durant’s elite achievements.

Curry regularly received MVP chants from the Warriors crowd when he shot free throws, while that didn’t become commonplace for Durant until this past postseason.

Hmmmmmmm. This sounds familiar.

The morning after the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, Jay Williams -- who works with KD and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, at Thirty Five Ventures -- said the following on ESPN's morning show "Get Up:"

"I saw something last night -- and I'm not speaking for him -- but for me, it kind of bothered me. Stephen Curry was on the free throw line (late in the third quarter) and granted Steph is an incredible player, he's MVP-caliber, two-time MVP. Take a listen to what the fans were cheering..."

(The show then cut to a clip of the Oracle Arena crowd chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!" And that bothered Williams?)

"It's like, 'OK, could this ever really be my team?' I feel like if you're a basketball player, you know that's Kevin Durant's team. But from the outside looking in, fans still see it as Stephen's team. And I don't care what anybody says, that has to sit with you in some kind of form or capacity.

"He's back-to-back Finals MVP."

The fact that this example was mentioned again certainly makes it seem like it in fact is KD -- not Williams -- who was bothered by the "M-V-P" chants, and Williams is relaying what he's been told.

Furthermore, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic wrote the following Sunday night:

In truth, KD was never embraced or loved by local fans on the level of the incumbent Curry.

This is undeniable, and it impacted Durant's outlook on his future.

It hasn't even been 24 hours since we learned the two-time NBA Finals MVP is leaving the Dubs, and important context is coming to light. It's safe to assume more is on the way in the coming days, weeks and months.

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Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

It's always tough to beat the Jazz in Utah, as the Warriors were reminded last month. Golden State was going to be a massive underdog Friday night as it was, and Thursday's injury report certainly won't change that.

After suffering an embarrassing home overtime loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Dubs will try to right the ship against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert & Co., but they'll have to do it without at least one of their best players -- and we don't mean Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.

Draymond Green is listed as out (rest) for Friday's game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, while rookie Eric Paschall is doubtful with left hip soreness. Additionally, both Ky Bowman and Alen Smailagic are on G League assignment. 

[RELATED: Dubs' Bowman won't play vs. Jazz, will make G League debut]

With Green out and Paschall doubtful, one would expect Golden State's (relatively) healthy bigs like Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss to get some extended playing time against the Jazz.

Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

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Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

You might think of Steph Curry as a point guard.

After all, he's short, brings the ball up the court sometimes and appears on the far left of those nifty starting lineup graphics prior to tip-off with PG next to his name.

But in this age of run-and-gun positionless basketball, is Curry really a point guard? Not if you ask Gary Payton.

In fact, the nine-time NBA All-Star believes there only are two true point guards left in The Association.

"That's a question that is kind of difficult for old people," Payton told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock and Kerith Burke on the "Runnin' Plays Podcast" when asked about the best point guards in today's game. "You look at Stephen Curry. You put him as a point guard. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at [Russell] Westbrook. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at James Harden. He's not a point guard, he's a two-guard.

"To me, there are only two guards in this league that are true point guards. That's [Rajon] Rondo and Chris Paul. 

"Now, Chris Paul has turned into a shooting guard more, but Rondo is a true point guard," Payton continued. "He looks first to get people off. He does his defense and he makes people better around him. Not, let me score 30. Not, let me shoot a jump shot first. He's not doing that ... If we name a lot of point guards that's right now in this NBA, they are not point guards."

At least Harden can finally be in the same category as Steph, right?

[RELATED: Loss to Knicks shows Warriors have earned NBA's worst record]

While Steph might not be the prototypical point guard in the old-fashioned sense, there's no doubt he'll one day be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., as one of the greatest scoring guards in NBA history.

In any era, that's pretty, pretty good.