Steve Kerr has nothing but praise for former Warriors superstar Kevin Durant, who won two Finals MVP awards in Golden State, but Kerr wasn’t surprised in the slightest when Durant announced his decision to leave, which led to a team-friendly trade to the Brooklyn Nets.
In a conversation with Howard Beck on The Full 48 podcast, Kerr said he felt that the dominant Warriors’ lineup had “run its course,” and that Durant’s decision wasn’t a shock to anyone in the building. Kerr also refuted the theory that Durant’s midseason spat with Draymond Green sealed his eventual exit, as Kendrick Perkins speculated on ESPN.
Via The Full 48:
Howard Beck: “On a scale of 1 to 10, what was your surprise level when you heard he had decided to go?”
Steve Kerr: “Uh, 1. Not surprised…. It just felt different this past year. We kind of lost momentum. Internally, it just felt different, and it wasn’t anything tangible. People point to the Draymond-Kevin incident. I honestly don’t think that was that big of a deal, as crazy as that sounds.
I think it was just sort of, for whatever reason, just kind of ran its course. I don’t know why. I do think we’re in a different era where, you know, players are interested in new challenges… I just feel like players see that there’s a huge expanse out there. There’s this horizon with so many different opportunities, and so you’re just going to have fewer teams that stick together for a long period of time. And that’s just kind of how it felt this year for us, that this thing has a finite ending point, and this is probably it.”
According to Stephen A. Smith, Durant’s relationship with Kerr played a role in his decision to leave. Smith reported last week that Durant’s connection with Kerr was “not good at all” in the wake of Durant’s criticism of the Warriors offense.