After seven seasons competing against Kevin Durant in the NBA, Steve Nash formed a close relationship with the superstar forward during KD's three years with the Warriors.
The Warriors hired Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard and two-time NBA MVP, as a player development consultant prior to the 2015-16 season. The next season, Durant was a Warrior.
But the star forward's legendary run with the Warriors came to an end this past offseason. Nash says if you told him in 2016 that Durant would only be a Warrior for three years, he would be a bit surprised -- but far from shocked.
"I think I would have thought he would have had such a great experience there that he wouldn't want to leave," Nash said on the most recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast. "That would be the surprise."
Nash worked closely with Durant in Golden State. The two often were seen working one-on-one when Nash popped in at the Warriors' practice facility. The two kings of their craft grew on a personal level, too.
As for why he thinks Durant left, Nash turned to some of the same reasons KD fled the Thunder for the Warriors in free agency in the first place -- he wanted another challenge.
"Kevin's a thoughtful -- I don't want to say complicated -- sophisticated, he's continually pushing himself and searching for whatever it is that's out there that's going to fulfill him and excite him," Nash said. "I think maybe that part of it was underestimated that he would leave in three years, because that's what led him there in the first place.
"He wanted something higher, bigger [when he left OKC for the Warriors]. He wanted to experience something different where he would be pushed in new ways, and it's kind of the same thing that's happening now."
Plenty of speculation has come up regarding Durant's relationship with Warriors star point guard Steph Curry, despite the two always getting along during their three years as teammates. Some people believe KD had an issue with the Warriors always being viewed as "Steph's team" in the eyes of Dubs fans, no matter how great KD played.
Nash believes Durant having his "own" team is far from all he seeks.
"I think that plays a role [in him leaving], but I don't think it's everything for Kevin," Nash said. "I think it's probably overplayed by the media. I think in some ways, Kevin just wanted a change. ... I think him constantly seeking a new challenge and new opportunity and new experience, there's a lot of layers to him.
"I think he loves to explore."