Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is still riding high after leading his team to their fourth NBA championship. The two-time league MVP sat down with Rolling Stone magazine and discussed all things on and off the court, including a famous former teammate that he wouldn’t mind playing with again.
“And if you said, ‘Oh, KD’s coming back, and we’re gonna play with him,'” said Curry. “I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!'”
There’s nothing out of the ordinary in Curry’s comments. All 29 teams had an internal conversation about potentially acquiring Kevin Durant when he made his trade request earlier this summer. He’s one of the greatest players of all time. A two-time Finals MVP, 12-time All-Star, and 10-time All-NBA.
But Curry also shed some light on KD as an individual that might give us some insight into the trade request and Durant’s seemingly wandering spirit.
“I was never hesitant. The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD’s a really good dude,” said Curry. “I think he is misunderstood. I think he has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times. So all of those things, I understand, having played with him and gotten to know him. I love that dude.”
Everyone is focusing on the fact that Curry would play with KD again, even coming off a championship. But that wasn’t the most interesting comment made about Durant.
Curry is known as maybe the best teammate in the NBA. A culture setter and a leader in every way. He does take time to get to know who his teammates are as people outside of basketball. Curry called Durant a “good dude” and “misunderstood.”
There is no reason for Curry to offer up anything untrue about Durant. As his former teammate, Curry has firsthand knowledge on what kind of person KD is. That knowledge allowed Curry to see the Brooklyn situation differently.
For many people on the outside, KD demanding a trade was him “running from the grind” or disappearing when things got tough. You could certainly read it that way.
But Curry’s point that Durant “has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times” is very interesting.
Fans and many media members don’t often think of a relationship between a player and an organization through the lens of trust. They see it as transactional. The organization agrees to pay a certain amount of money and the player agrees to play. You wouldn’t be wrong for seeing it that way. But that’s just surface level.
In order to have an opportunity at true success there must be trust among segments of the organization or things won’t work.
The Brooklyn Nets had a disastrous season in the last NBA year, and it’s hard to look at all the dysfunction that went on between the Kyrie Irving’s vaccination situation, the James Harden trade, the Ben Simmons ramp up to play, and KD’s trade demand and not surmise that there is a severe lack of trust rampant in the organization.
Something isn’t right in Brooklyn. Did the team capitulate to KD too often and not set clear boundaries? Did they promise him certain things and not deliver? We don’t know. All we can look at is what transpired, and it seems as though the team gave KD everything he asked for, but he was still unhappy.
Looking at what Curry said about Durant not having the ability to trust people around him and feel safe. Juxtapose that with something Curry said this spring when asked about wielding power within the Warriors organization.
“That’s not how I operate,” Curry told The Athletic. “There were conversations and different paths to take, and we all had conversations about going different ways. But at the end of the day, I have a lot of trust in Bob, a lot of confidence in what we’re about.”
The “Bob” Curry is referring to is general manager Bob Myers. He has “a lot of trust in Bob.”
Trust isn’t something granted haphazardly, or at least it shouldn’t be. It has to be earned through demonstrated actions and work.
When trust is given by someone and that trust is broken in a particularly harmful way, it becomes very difficult for that person to trust again.
We don’t know who or what situation negatively impacted KD’s ability to trust. But Curry made it a point to mention it, and it appears to be an issue in Brooklyn right now.
Read More TSL Stories: