Awful news is awful news, but it can be the way you hear it that can make it so much worse.
There was no good time for the Warriors or their fans to learn that Kevin Durant’s last time in a Warriors uniform was of him limping off the court with a ruptured Achilles, because he would make the decision to leave on Sunday and sign a deal with the Brooklyn Nets.
At least, the fans heard it much better than Stephen Curry did.
According to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Curry was flying from Shanghai, China to see Durant in New York when the news broke that the two-time Finals MVP was bolting from town.
Stephen Curry flew straight to the New York area from Shanghai, China. But he wasn’t going to pitch Kevin Durant on why he should stay with the Warriors. It was already too late. He was on the plane when the news broke that Durant was leaving for Brooklyn.
And Curry didn’t turn the jet around or cancel the trip. Because it wasn’t about recruiting. It was about respect. It was about thanks.
It was easy to presume that if anyone could sway Durant, Curry would be the one. The point guard has been the Warriors’ biggest magnet, drawing the key pieces to the dynasty, including Durant and Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr. It was Curry’s mojo that built this. It was his stamp of approval that sealed Durant’s arrival. His trip to New York was seen as a last-ditch effort to keep Durant.
But Curry went to have one last moment with Durant as teammates. To tell him one more time how much he appreciated him for the three years they had. They’d won two championships together. Dominated the league together. Made history together. He was there to wish Durant happiness and peace, express his support for his decision. And when Curry got to Durant’s apartment in Manhattan, Durant confirmed to Curry his decision that their time together was over. Face to face. Man to man. Friend to friend.
It was a sad moment for the Warriors, but the emotions would get better and worse at the same time later on Sunday when the team pulled off a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell, but had to trade veteran and fan favorite Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies to pull it off.