Comparing Kevin Durant from when he joined the Golden State Warriors to when he left, he looks like a different player. Especially if you watched him closely.
He became better as a scorer and more efficient offensively. He was thrust into a setting where his game had to develop with more pressure on him.
One player who noticed his development is CJ McCollum. On the most recent ‘Pull Up with CJ McCollum’ podcast, the Blazers guard touched on Durant and Draymond Green's wide ranging conversation from earlier in the week on Bleacher Report. McCollum gave his input on if their relationship led Durant to depart the team.
“KD’s the type of guy, if he wanted to stay, he would’ve stayed,” McCollum said. “Based on his actions in previous situations on previous teams. He probably felt like his time was up there. He had been there for a long time. He had won multiple championships. He had won multiple Finals MVPs. He got what he was looking for in a sense of playing on arguably one of the best teams ever created.”
McCollum is speaking facts. That’s Kevin Durant. One of the greatest to ever lace ‘em up. Any team on the planet would want his services at whatever the charge.
The thing with Durant, as McCollum pointed out, is simple. He went to the Bay Area to join a special situation and develop as a player. In three seasons he got all that and more. Whether it was the added attention, playing with more Hall of Fame caliber players, accomplishing a childhood dream, and becoming just a different human being. His time with the Warriors was an education that he brought to Brooklyn.
“Being able to learn a different style and play a different style,” McCollum said. “I think he went in there as an elite player and left an elite player who understood the game better. Who was a better all-around player from a defensive standpoint to an offensive standpoint to a creativity standpoint. To a guy who could orchestrate an offense and manipulate a defense. He had all that stuff but I think he took it to another level after he played with Dray, Steph, and Klay.”
Just look at what he did this past postseason, especially with Kyrie Irving and James Harden missing multiple games.
Other great players make each other better and that’s what’s happened at each stop of Durant’s career.
Regardless of how people want to frame his time with the Warriors, it was one of the best decisions he could’ve made and it was a success on and off the court.