Menu Close

NBA free agency 2019: Was Kevin Durant’s plan always to leave the Warriors?

Kevin Durant tipped off 2019 NBA free agency by saying farewell to a dynasty in the Golden State Warriors and saying hello to the Brooklyn Nets, ending previous speculation he might take more money to ride it out in the Bay Area.

To former NBA veteran Raja Bell, however, Durant’s move was hardly a surprise. In fact, from the moment KD arrived in Golden State, Bell anticipated an in-and-out stint for the repeat NBA Finals MVP.

“I feel like KD was always just a mercenary in this,” he said on Tuesday’s “Kanell & Bell” podcast. “I felt like he was always going there, he was going to try to stack championships while he could get ’em. I always think that he felt that it was just that window of time, that he would maximize it the best he could, and then he was probably going to be gone.”

Bell’s co-host, Danny Kanell, agreed, noting that Durant always seemed like “a hired gun from the outside” in contrast to homegrown Warriors talents like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Moving forward, both Kanell and Bell agreed that, regardless of “homegrown” status, a big-money contract or anything else, the one thing Durant could stand to improve is how he handles critics. Kanell suggested that Durant’s sometimes-shaky status in Golden State should at least partially be attributed to how Warriors general manager Bob Myers handled comments regarding Durant and Curry’s leadership and long-term prospects in the franchise. But he didn’t deny Durant could also do a lot to help his own perception.

“He needs to remove himself, to some degree, from the opinion business and having other people’s opinions affect him,” Bell said. “You’re Kevin damn Durant. Don’t dignify some of these morons.”

Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes.