Warriors

Warriors were never final stop for Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith says

Warriors were never final stop for Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith says

“You don’t wanna make an enemy out of me.”

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith said that about former Warriors star Kevin Durant in 2015 on “First Take” after the forward was vocal about not speaking to Smith. 

Smith recently joined Bill Simmons on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” and talked about, among other things, Kevin Durant.

While many around the league speculated throughout last  season whether Durant would leave the Warriors in free agency, Smith says that he never saw Durant’s move to Golden State as a permanent endeavor. 

“When Kevin Durant went to Golden State, I never bought the Steph Curry thing because Kevin Durant always knew it was going to be Steph Curry’s town,” Smith told Simmons. “He went there to - he never ever ever intended to stay more .. longer than he stayed.”

Much was made of Durant wanting to have his own team where he was the star, after spending nearly a decade sharing the spotlight with MVP Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City. 

It would be unfair to say Durant was overshadowed during his time in Golden State, however, as KD captured two championships and a pair of Finals MVP trophies during his time with the Warriors. 

“He wanted to go there, win a couple of rings at the very least, and then move on. Because then when he moved on, he would be moving on as a champion.”

Durant left the Warriors to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn with the Nets, and now Smith is unsure when Durant will be on a team where he is the guy.

“Golden State was never a permanent situation for him from my understanding. And that was never going to be the case. He always had intentions to leave. Because he knew that would never be HIS. The question now is, what could possibly be HIS?”

[RELATED: Warriors who could be dark-horse candidates for 2019-20 NBA awards]

Steph Curry, meanwhile, is left to pick up the pieces and do everything he can to keep the momentum rolling for the Warriors as they begin a new era of uncertainty in their new San Francisco home.

KD and Stephen A. now work in the same town, so hopefully Durant doesn't try to pick any more battles with ESPN's most prominent talent.

Doc Rivers clarifies how Clippers acquired Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

Doc Rivers clarifies how Clippers acquired Paul George, Kawhi Leonard

“Mr. Ballmer, I love the things you do and what you stand for, but your team is not good enough and if you don’t change your team, I’m not coming.”

That was the blunt statement Kawhi Leonard gave to Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer during the team’s recruitment meeting with Leonard prior to the start of NBA free agency, as told by head coach Doc Rivers in a recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times’ Arash Markazi.

“We actually had a list of guys, which was a mistake, but we got lucky,” Rivers said. “We shouldn’t have had a list, because then he got to choose who he wanted to play with and the assumption was that we could get them. We didn’t know if we could get anybody. We just showed him guys that we thought would match him and when he saw Paul George’s name he said, ‘I want to play with him.’”

The Clippers clearly needed some star power if they wanted to compete for championships, as Rivers and his club have been unsuccessful in advancing past the first round of the playoffs three of the last years, including missing the postseason entirely in 2017-18. The Clippers did make some noise in the 2019 Playoffs, taking a pair of games from the Warriors before ultimately succumbing in a six-game series defeat.

LA parted with a record-number of draft picks to make the trade work with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sending a total of six future first-round draft picks and former first-rounders Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to acquire George.

“Steve Ballmer was nervous about the picks,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Steve, you keep saying six picks for Paul George is insane, but you’re saying it wrong. It’s not six for Paul; it’s six for Paul and Kawhi. So three for each. I would do that.’ You have to look at it in those terms.”

[RELATED: Warriors will need eight things to go right to make NBA playoffs]

After the dust settled on 2019’s topsy-turvy free agency period, the new-look Clippers stood with arguably the best superstar duo in the NBA, as Kawhi is coming off a dominant season ending with his third championship and second Finals MVP, while George was named to his first All-NBA First Team in a breakout season.

There’s no doubt Ballmer and Rivers now believe they have the best team in a wide-open NBA, but Steph Curry and Draymond Green may have something to say about that when the Warriors and Clippers face off in the first regular-season NBA game at Chase Center on Oct. 24.

Warriors' Klay Thompson gives Zaza Pachulia car as retirement gift

Warriors' Klay Thompson gives Zaza Pachulia car as retirement gift

Get you a friend like Klay Thompson.

The Warriors star shooting guard has endeared himself to Dub Nation and the NBA world alike through a number of classic moments from his scaffolding interview to heckling Christian Yelich at Wrigley Field. Thompson's budding bromance with former teammate and current Warriors consultant Zaza Pachulia also has captured the attention of most Warriors fans.

Thompson and Pachulia became good friends during the center's time in the Bay, and with Pachulia electing to hang up his sneakers to join Golden State's front office, Klay had to get him a retirement gift.

A really nice one.

Man, I need to get better friends.

[RELATED: Eight things Warriors need to go right to make playoffs]

Thompson currently is recovering from his torn ACL, but it doesn't look like it's dampened his spirits at all this offseason. Thompson has been in France, London, San Francisco and who knows where else with his girlfriend Laura Harrier.

No word yet on whether or not rookie Jordan Poole is getting that double date with Zendaya, though.