Kevin Durant may no longer play for the Golden State Warriors, but the quality of the teams he played for in the Bay Area is not lost on him. Now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, Durant can finally reflect on his time with the Dubs: A three-year run that resulted in three trips to the NBA Finals, two championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, two second-team All-NBA selections, and one first-team All-NBA selection.
On a recent episode of Knuckleheads, a podcast on The Players’ Tribune, hosted by former NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Durant had some high praise for his former team.
Asked what his favorite team in NBA history is, Durant pointed to the 2016-17 Warriors - the team that went 16-1 in the playoffs in Durant’s first year with Golden State - and called it “flawless basketball.”
Kevin Durant was asked: "Who was your favorite NBA team of all time and can you name their starting five?"— TheWarriorsTalk (@TheWarriorsTalk) October 22, 2019
KD: "I mean the 2017 Warrior team...I mean that was one of the crispiest basketball teams I've seen, that was just flawless basketball in my opinion"
Slightly tangentially, this led to a funny moment on Twitter, in part because Durant had recently taken to social media to express a desire for media members to ask better basketball questions. He seemed to like this question, though.
Why’d u say this buddy?— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 22, 2019
I thought it was a legit question— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 22, 2019
Durant is obviously not the only person to think that. Many people consider the 2016-17 Warriors - who added one of the league’s greatest players in Durant to a squad that won an NBA-record 73 regular season games the year before - the greatest team of all time.
While Durant was singing the team’s praises in one podcast, Draymond Green was singing them in another. On a must-listen episode of The Woj Pod, Green described just how dominant that team was, while contrasting it to last year’s Warriors squad, and pointing out that Durant and Steph Curry got on the same page, and then everything clicked:
“After Christmas, when Steph and Kevin kind of had their thing, with Kevin telling Steph, ‘Hey man, I came here to play with you guys. I’ll figure it out, I just need you to play your game.’ And then at that point we became pretty much as close to unbeatable as we wanted to be. And I don’t say that in a cocky way, but I truly believe that. Like if we walked into an arena and said we were gonna win that night, we were gonna win. And if we walked into an arena and said, ‘ehh,’ we’d probably still win. But everything just flowed, crazy. And that was just the complete opposite [last year]. You could just feel that nothing was right.”
A new season is upon us, and Green is surely focused on 2019-20, while Durant is certainly focused on rehabbing the Achilles that he tore in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
But it’s clear that few teams will ever be as good as the 2016-17 Warriors were.