September 25, 2022

After LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers thwarted the Warriors’ hopes of repeating themselves as NBA champions in 2016, Kevin Durant arrived in the Bay Area and helped them win back-to-back titles over the next two seasons. .

The KD era is forever steeped in Dub Nation lore, and a lot has happened since then, from Durant walking into free agency to Golden State lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy again without him.

But Draymond Green took a stroll down memory lane on Monday night when his podcast teamed up with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter’s “The Old Man and The Three” for a live onstage taping in New York, where he said he had again defeated James and the Cavs. wouldn’t have been possible without Durant despite debates over his legacy with the Warriors.

“…I think for us in the organization, we did everything we could to make Kevin comfortable,” Green told Redick and Alter. “We did everything we could to let him know, ‘Just like this is our home, this is your home too, bro.’ But the outside world didn’t. The outside world [is saying]“He joins a team that has won 73 games, he joins the team that has already won a championship” and blah, blah, blah.

“But the reality is, I don’t think this team will win another championship if Kevin doesn’t come… We wouldn’t have beaten the Cavs coming back without Kevin.”

Green said after their back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2015 and 2016, the teams had solved the Warriors puzzle. Not only that, he added, but Steph Curry had yet to become the player he is today.

“Teams understood us, and personally I don’t think at that time Steph Curry understood, ‘I’ll get a bucket whenever I want,'” Green said. “I don’t think he was capable of it yet. I think he was still growing in there.

Upon discovering Golden State’s offense, teams began doubling Curry more, Green said. This is where Durant came in.

“…The reality is that we’ve gotten to a point where we have to be able to give somebody the ball who can just fetch a bucket,” Green continued. “And Kevin was already there. I don’t think Steph was still there. So that allows us to get through these two years. We get those two championships.

So what’s different now? Curry was in the weight room getting stronger and stronger starting in 2019, Green said, allowing him to become that player who can score when he wants. In Durant’s absence, he proved crucial.

Fast forward to 2022, and the two-time NBA MVP, who Green described as the Warriors’ “strongest guy” to date, is now able to outrun a 6-foot-9, 240 Al Horford. pounds for the rim in the final.

” It allowed [Curry] to score when he wanted to because you can’t get him out of his way anymore,” Green said. “…That’s when Steph turned the corner and he became unstoppable. And now we can keep winning championships because he’s unstoppable.

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Curry didn’t appear to take Green’s comments that the Warriors needed Durant to personally win two of their past four championships, celebrating his longtime teammate’s accomplishments with a post to his Instagram Story on Tuesday – the 10th anniversary. from the day Green was drafted by Golden State.

Curry can now add a Bill Russell Finals MVP trophy to his collection as a pillar of his legacy, and Durant’s own stands on two feet at bay according to Green.

But as questions continue to swirl about which Finals win matters most to the Warriors, the 32-year-old has made it clear that there is only one dynasty that doesn’t stop yet.

“…I think you started to see it then, this growth and like, ‘Oh man, nobody can stop this guy [Curry] now,” Green said. “And I think that has really changed the complexity of our organization. And I’m pretty sure that’s why we’ll win three of the next four NBA championships.”

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