Warriors

Warriors

Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Pistons game streaming live at 4 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Steve Kerr and Scottie Pippen played together in Chicago for five seasons. They won NBA championships together in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

The Warriors' head coach probably isn't too happy with his former teammate right now, though.

"With Steph (Curry) out, with Draymond Green out, you're seeing the real KD," Pippen said Friday on ESPN's The Jump. "The KD that I felt like has been holding back for the last couple of years. We watched him play with Russell Westbrook, win an MVP there with Westbrook, and still I don't think we saw the full KD.

[RELATEDPanel predicts KD will re-sign with Warriors in free agency]

"And now we're getting the chance to see KD really carry a team. He's never had the opportunity to step in and be the leader, be the man. The ball will come through him. Now we're starting to see that.

"You're talking about a guy who already has two NBA championships, he already has two NBA Finals MVPs. So what else is left for him? It's to go lead his own team and do it -- to be pushed to be the player that he probably has dreamt that he would always be. He could proably be a player that could score 40 points a game in this league."

 

What's interesting about these comments is that playing with the Warriors actually has unlocked aspects of Durant's game that didn't get the chance to flourish in OKC. Is averaging 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steals on 55.6 percent shooting in the 2017 NBA Finals not "the real KD?" What about last season, when he racked up 43 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in Game 3 in Cleveland? Were the Warriors holding him back then?

Also, Durant has said he liked the idea of joining the Warriors so he didn't have to be "the man" every night and didn't need to score 30-plus points for his team to win. He doesn't like the term "alpha dog" and doesn't even know what it really means.

Perhaps he has changed his mind or will change his mind in July. If the Warriors win another title and Durant claims another Finals MVP, he simply might want a new challenge. Or, he might want to try to win four or five or six consecutive titles. Who knows at this point?

When ESPN's Brian Windhorst then asked Pippen: "If (Durant) came to you and said: Scottie, what should I do -- should I stay here and get some more rings or should I go off and try to do it on my own?" Pippen was crystal clear.

"I would tell him to go off and do it on his own because I think he is capable of leading a team on his own," Pippen said. "I think he's capable of winning a championship by himself -- with another player -- but KD is the best player in the league right now. I truly think that he's there."

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