Warriors

Richard Jefferson calls out Warriors for adding Kevin Durant after 2016 Finals

Richard Jefferson calls out Warriors for adding Kevin Durant after 2016 Finals

Richard Jefferson and the Cleveland Cavaliers pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history in 2016.

Well, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving did most of the heavy lifting, but Jefferson was on the team.

You know the story, down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, the Cavs stormed back and won the last three games of the series to stun the Warriors and win the 2016 NBA title. 

Following the loss, the 73-win Warriors got even better by signing Kevin Durant, and the NBA hasn't had a chance ever since.

Jefferson, who has been critical of the move in the past, criticized the Warriors for that move during Sunday's Spurs-Cavs game. 

"That was the crazy thing," Jefferson said about the Warriors recruiting Durant. "They literally had Harrison Barnes who as one of their guys. Drafted. Been there. And you understand, you've got to do that 10 times out of 10.

"Where I come from, in the park and in the streets, if you're playing and you lose to somebody, the first words are run it back, same teams, Run it back, same teams, right? We don't need to change the teams, run it back. That's how we grew up. Because you don't want to change anything. Like, no, we felt we were the better team, we just didn't play well enough so let's run it back. They didn't do that. They were like, 'we need to go reload. We're going to go get our big brother.' Like, oh, thanks guys. That's fun."

As far as bad takes go, this one ranks right up there.

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Durant, of course, responded in a comment on Instagram.

"Everybody from the streets now," Durant wrote on Bleacher Report's video of Jefferson's comments. 

If any team has a chance to add a top two player in the league they are going to do it.  Had the Warriors defeated the Cavs in the 2016 NBA Finals, they might have run it back. But after blowing the 3-1 lead, adding Durant, who made them worlds better than the rest of the NBA, was a no-brainer.

Deep down, Jefferson knows that.

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Publicly, the Warriors have no rooting interest in the Eastern Conference. Why would they?

They're one win away from reaching their fifth straight NBA Finals and in the midst of one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time. 

What they should want, however, is a long series between the Bucks and the Raptors. That's exactly why Golden State should be happy Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series on Sunday. 

After the Bucks dominated the Raptors in the first two games of the series by a combined 30 points in Milwaukee, Toronto held them off north of the border. This series is guaranteed to go at least five games now. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo played 45 minutes before fouling out and the Raptors were led by Kawhi Leonard's 36 points over 52 minutes. 

A longer series and more minutes played by the two superstars is a win-win for the Warriors. 

Despite winning five straight games and being ahead three-games-to-none over the Blazers in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors are without two of their top players. Forward Kevin Durant is rehabbing a strained right calf and center DeMarcus Cousins is on his way back from a torn left quad. 

Durant didn't travel with the team to Portland and will be out for Game 4 on Monday night. Cousins, however, is said to be closer than KD in making a return to the Dubs

[RELATED: Steph believes Warriors won't be slowed by Iggy's injury]

Even without the two stars, the Warriors have been on a roll. But players, and even one mother, know how important Durant and Cousins are in the team's attempt to three-peat.

The NBA Finals don't begin until May 30. The Warriors can have over a week to rest and get healthy if they sweep the Blazers. At the same time, their opponent could be significantly less rested, especially if the Raptors keep winning.

Draymond Green's mom agrees Warriors need Kevin Durant for NBA Finals

Draymond Green's mom agrees Warriors need Kevin Durant for NBA Finals

The Warriors are rolling right now. Whether it's the Splash Brothers heating up from deep, or Draymond Green doing it, the Blazers have had no answers for them in the Western Conference finals. 

And they're doing it all without Kevin Durant, the back-to-back NBA Finals MVP. 

Without Durant, the Warriors are looking like the squad that won a ring and set a NBA record with 73 regular-season wins without him. None of that matters, though. When you can have one of the greatest to ever play the game on your team, you welcome him with wide open arms. 

Draymond Green's mother, Mary Babers-Green, agrees. 

Like mother, like son. 

With Durant rehabbing a strained right calf in the Warriors' last four games, all wins, Draymond has averaged 14 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. Don't tell him the Warriors are better without KD, though. 

“That’s idiotic,” Green said to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami Thursday after the Warriors' 114-111 win in Game 2 over the Blazers. “It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly (say) it don’t believe it.”

[RELATED: How incident with KD helped Draymond change his demeanor]

Durant will miss Game 4 on Monday. A Warriors win would give them a sweep and well over a week of rest before the NBA Finals begin on May 30.