Are Kevin Durant and Steph Curry Still Friends Now?
Kevin Durant‘s 2018-19 NBA season ended on a note no player ever wants. After being sidelined for a portion of the Golden State Warriors’ playoff run, KD returned to the court in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors before the unthinkable happened; Durant ruptured his Achilles.
The Warriors went on to lose in their quest for a three-peat and a few weeks later, everyone learned that when Durant recovers he’ll be playing in a different uniform. The 10-time All-Star decided to take his talents to Brooklyn and now, reports surfaced that his friend and former teammate Steph Curry “took the news personally.” So it is the end of an era for the Warriors but is it the end of a friendship between Durant and Curry?
Curry found out about Durant’s decision while flying to meet him
Following the news that Durant agreed to sign with the Nets, several reports surfaced about how Curry, who helped recruit him three years earlier, learned about Durant’s exit. Curry was en route to try and talk Durant into returning when he found out Durant was leaving.
According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Curry heard that KD was no longer his teammate while he was on a flight from China to New York to give him one last stay-with-the-Warriors pitch.
Bill Simmons noted on his podcast that Curry was flying back and had a “determined time with KD to just talk with him and put a bow on everything. Either, ‘Hey man, here’s how we feel about you’ and convince him to stay, and if Durant’s not gonna stay they’ll talk about that.”
Apparently, the latter happened.
“About an hour before the plane lands, all of a sudden it’s KD is gonna be announcing on his Instagram that night, all this stuff and Curry’s like, ‘What’s going on?’” Simmons said. “And then it gets announced he’s signing with Brooklyn. Curry’s plane hasn’t landed yet. He lands and decides to do the dignified thing and he goes to meet KD anyway, basically to say goodbye to him.”
While they may not remain as tight as they once were now on different teams and opposite coasts, Curry likely wouldn’t have gone to see Durant at all if intended on just ending their friendship. Although Simmons revealed that he heard the team “took the news personally,” the Warriors are also taking the high road and honoring Durant.
Warriors will retire Durant’s number
In Brooklyn, Durant will be wearing a No. 7 jersey but no one on Golden State will wear the number 35 he wore there at least not for the foreseeable future.
The Warriors obviously aren’t happy about KD’s decision to leave but the team isn’t displaying sour grapes. Instead, they are showing nothing but appreciation for the man who helped them win two more championships by retiring his jersey number.
“Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one of the best to ever play the game,” Warriors CEO Joe Lacob said in a statement. “He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here — two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, three trips to the Finals, unparalleled efficiency — and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court … As long as I am Co-Chairman of this team, no player will ever wear #35 for the Warriors again.”
The team will also of course retire Curry’s No. 30 jersey one day too and even if their friendship doesn’t last, their jerseys will always hang alongside one another in the rafters as a reminder of what they accomplished together.