Should Kevin Durant Regret Leaving Warriors? “Hell yeah,” says Stephen A. Smith

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Stephen A.: ‘Hell yes’ KD should regret Warriors departure originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

When Steph Curry was asked by “Rolling Stone” about his response to rumors that Kevin Durant was considering a return to the Warriors this summer, the reigning NBA Finals MVP replied with a resounding, “Hell yeah!”

With that reaction that caused a stir during the NBA offseason, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had a similar answer to the question of whether Durant should regret leaving Golden State.

“Yeah, yeah,” Smith said Tuesday on “First Take.” “I think that’s obvious. There’s no getting around that.”

Smith was initially critical of Durant’s decision to sign with the Warriors after the Oklahoma City Thunder lost a three-game lead to one in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.

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“To put myself on front street,” Smith said, “we all know I was on the record years ago when he left Oklahoma City, calling it the weakest move I’ve ever seen by a superstar.

“That said, it doesn’t take away that the guy went there, won back-to-back titles, and they would have blown Toronto out of the building, out of the country of Canada, if Kevin Durant was healthy against Kawhi Leonard,” said Smith. “There’s no way the Toronto Raptors would have beaten the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals if Kevin Durant, and ultimately Klay Thompson in that Game 6, hadn’t been injured.”

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After losing the 2019 NBA Finals to Toronto, Durant packed his bags to team up with Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. For three seasons, that has resulted in one win in the playoffs, as the Warriors pressed their dynasty’s “Resume” button and claimed the NBA crown of 2022.

“Last year everyone in the… [Durant] Camp got mad at me for saying that if the Golden State Warriors win, people will talk more about KD leaving Steph to join Kyrie than about his two titles,” Smith said.

“After the season ended and Steph Curry won the championship and NBA Finals MVP, what are they talking about? ‘You left Steph Curry, what the hell were you thinking?’ “

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However, according to Smith, it is not too late for Durant to rewrite the storylines surrounding the Nets star.

“The only way to get over that story is by… [Durant] to appear in Brooklyn this year.”

The Warriors will face Durant’s Nets twice in the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season: December 21 en route and January 22 at Chase Center.

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