Warriors

What Kevin Durant told GM Sean Marks about why he signed with Nets

What Kevin Durant told GM Sean Marks about why he signed with Nets

Everyone wants to know: Why did Kevin Durant pick the Brooklyn Nets?

While Durant himself hasn't publicly given his reason, his new general manager Sean Marks offered insight in an interview on WFAN on Tuesday.

"Well, he said a couple things," Marks said of his conversation with Durant. "He did say, and I don't want to get into the whole thing ... he did say 'Look, I love the system, I love how you guys play, I see how hard you guys play, you're never out of games, we could never take you guys lightly.' That was one of the first things he said. 'If we were up 10 with two minutes to go, that doesn't mean anything against Brooklyn.' That's a real credit to the competitive environment that [Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson] has really brought. He's spearheaded that."

In three seasons under Atkinson, the Nets have gone from 20 wins to 28 to 42. With a young team, Brooklyn secured the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference last year, and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Much like Warriors fans back in 2016 when Durant signed with Golden State, Marks has found himself in disbelief that Durant now plays for his team.

"I'm not going to lie, there's been a couple of times I'm definitely excited about [it]," Marks said. "Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds."

Marks said Durant gave the Nets no heads up about his decision, and that the team found out when the two-time NBA Finals MVP announced his decision on Instagram.

"What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were potentially going to get a meeting," Marks said. "We'd seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them. And those reports were there for everybody to read. And then when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office."

Durant is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season as he recovers from the torn Achilles he suffered in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Instead of flying back to the Bay Area to have surgery, Durant flew to New York and had the surgery performed by Nets team physician Martin O'Malley.

Marks, though, doesn't believe Durant's injury helped the Nets land him.

"I've never actually asked him that," Marks said. "I know he is, since signing with us, met all our performance team and I could see the look on his face, that he was certainly pleased with what we had in front of him."

[RELATED: Warriors alarmed by KD's lack of joy]

We have yet to hear from Durant on all of these subjects, but we finally have a little bit of insight into why Durant left the Warriors. Once he's ready to speak, hopefully we'll get the complete story.

NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

NBA Draft 2020: Deni Avdija celebrated Warriors' 2015 title in old photo

If the Warriors select 19-year-old Deni Avdija in the early stages of the 2020 NBA Draft, they'll be picking a player who appears to have been a fan of the franchise for at least a quarter of his life.

The Israeli-Serbian forward has been lighting up the Israeli Basketball Premier League for Maccabi Tel Aviv, averaging 18.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. ESPN's NBA draft guru Mike Schmitz describes Avdija as an "aggressive offensive player who is in attack mode every time he steps onto the floor," who, "loves shooting pull-up 3-pointers in transition."

Hmmm. Sound familiar?

That would seem to mirror the way the Warriors played throughout their (still ongoing?) dynastic run. Given a photo posted to Avdija's Instagram in September of 2016, it would appear he has been a fan of Golden State for some time.

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מה זה בית ספר #🇪🇸

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That's the Warriors 2015 NBA Champions hat that Avdija is wearing while apparently sailing off the coast of Spain. A good-looking hat for an even better view.

[RELATED: Watch potential Dubs draft target Avdija dominate in Israel]

Just throwing this out there, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess he's a pretty big fan of Steph Curry, too.

Maybe, just maybe, they'll be teammates within a few months, and Avdija will have more Warriors apparel than he'll know what to do with.

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaq gives outrageous breakdown of potential Lakers-Warriors matchup

Shaquille O'Neal won't back down from this debate.

The Hall of Fame center is 100 percent convinced his three-peat Los Angeles Lakers were better than the Steph Curry and Kevin Durant-led Warriors.

Shaq has made it clear over the last two years that he believes the 1999 through 2002 championship Lakers would have easily beaten the 2016 through 2019 Warriors in a hypothetical matchup.

The Diesel even claimed that the Warriors wouldn't have been a contender during the Lakers' dominant run.

But in an interview with Maxim Magazine published Tuesday, Shaq said the Lakers starters would have won every 1-on-1 matchup with the Warriors.

Brace yourselves, Warriors fans.

"I have a hard time believing that the greatest coach of all time (Phil Jackson), plus me and Kobe [Bryant], wouldn’t match up quite nicely against Steve Kerr and his gang," Shaq said. "Kobe takes Steph and dominates him. [Derek] Fisher takes Klay and manhandles him. [Rick] Fox takes Draymond and makes him foul out in the first half. Horace [Grant] would do his thing with K.D. But let’s be real, K.D., is a beast, and you can only do so much with him. And then I’d remind [Zaza] Pachulia why I am in the Hall of Fame and he is not."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Where do we even begin?

Yes, Kobe was an elite defender, but Curry is a generational talent. He would not have been dominated by Bryant. Steph against a prime Kobe would have been must-see TV, but it wouldn't have been as one-sided as Shaq believes.

If Shaq thinks Klay would be manhandled by anyone, let alone Fisher, he hasn't watched the Warriors shooting guard enough. Thompson has five inches on Fisher and would just shoot right over him.

If Fox tried to bully Draymond, the Warriors forward would pull a Doug Christie and sock him in the jaw. Draymond's motor would give him the edge in that matchup.

Durant would get his against Grant or any other defender the Lakers threw at him. You know who he is. He's Kevin Durant.

The only matchup the Lakers win hands down is Shaq vs. Zaza. Sorry, Zaza.

Shaq's Lakers were able to do something the Warriors weren't able to do: Three-peat. But Golden State very likely would have accomplished the feat if Durant and Thompson had been healthy for the entirety of the 2019 NBA Finals.

[RELATED: Why Curry, Dubs would dominate Lakers]

Yes, Shaq has every right to defend his Lakers teams, but to say they would completely dominate those Warriors teams is a bit far-fetched. Before Durant arrived, the Warriors won 73 games. After he signed, they steamrolled the league on their way to back-to-back NBA titles, and could have three-peated.

This debate will never be settled, but one thing is for sure. Shaq won't let it go.