Like a comet, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant's time together burned bright and fast.
The two all-time greats led the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals appearances after Durant arrived in the Bay in 2016. They won two titles and likely would have won a third had the Warriors not been hit by a glut of injuries, including the ruptured Achilles Durant suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Then, it was over.
Durant elected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, and Curry now is tasked with shouldering a heavy load entering next season when the two-time NBA MVP will be asked to do it all to keep the Warriors afloat in the revamped Western Conference.
Despite their relatively short time as running mates, Curry is appreciative of what playing with Durant did for him, especially on a personal level.
“It cemented me,” Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson at the American Century Golf Championship celebrity tournament. “Cemented my personality, how I see the world and what makes me go amidst the heights of where we were at for the last three years. Not a lot of people experience what we experienced in terms of criticism, attention, the intensity of basketball, the level we were playing at. It further cemented the foundation of kind of who I am. I see there are a lot of different ways to do it, and you respect everybody’s different approach and mindset and angle and what makes them go, what motivates them. But I’m really comfortable with mine.”
By all accounts, Curry did everything he could to make Durant feel like a co-star during his time in the Bay Area. Whether or not Durant ever felt accepted, only he can answer that.
The Steph-KD Warriors will go down as one of, if not the greatest collection of talent in NBA history. They set records, won titles and did it with a flare and swagger reserved only for those at the peak of their powers.
Durant now will rehab with an eye toward returning to the court for the 2020-21 season, while Curry and the Warriors will be out to prove their championship days didn't leave with Durant.