Despite Warriors-Celtics finals, NBA Twitter debates Curry-Durant drama


JThere’s no shortage of basketball intrigue in these 2022 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics, which kick off Thursday night in San Francisco. Two dynastic franchises face off: The Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most NBA championships in history (17), and the Warriors have won three of the last seven NBA crowns. East Coast vs West Coast. It is also a matchup of the two best defensive teams in the regular season. Golden State’s grizzled veterans — Stephen Curry (34), Draymond Green (32), and Klay Thompson (32), who each have a trio of titles to their games — take on Boston upstart All-Stars Jayson Tatum (24) and Jaylen Brown (25), plus NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart (28), all of whom are in their prime.

As appealing as Warriors-Celtics make it sound, many fans, pundits and even players flocked to the obsessive town square, dubbed “NBA Twitter,” and refused to let go of the past. They took Golden State’s return to the NBA Finals, after two seasons marred by injury and rebuilding, as an opportunity to push two future Hall of Famers. Can Curry really be considered one of the greatest of all time if he never won an NBA Finals MVP? And did back-to-back (2017, 2018) Finals MVP winner with Golden State Kevin Durant benefit disproportionately from Curry’s presence on the court? Or was it rather the opposite?

Before shouting “who cares?” down to the rafters, note that some of the lead actors themselves helped pump up the volume on all that chatter. In a interview with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, Green praised Durant’s performances in Finals wins, before claiming he had it easier than Curry in those matches. “Steph Curry was doubled, probably seven times more than KD,” says Green. “If you’re able to analyze the game, there’s no way you’d say Steph Curry needs a Finals MVP to validate who he is.”

KD intervenes

Durant himself, as usual, took to Twitter to crush Green’s take. “This real @KDTrey5?” a fan asked Durant on Twitter on Tuesday. During replied: “From my point of view, this is 100% false.” Durant continued to go back and forth with fans. @kburn3r intervened: “kd you have to admit it was going both ways… playing with it [Curry] made it easier for you and him. by Durant Answer: “I only hear about how it has benefited me.”

Green entered the fray later in the day. “You have to learn to listen to full takes and not snippets before you jump into tweeting Champ,” Green wrote to his former Warriors and Olympic teammate, with whom he has shared tense moments in the past. KD ended on a diplomatic note. “Oh I’ve seen it bros, I appreciate the compliments but I just disagree with what you said about double teams, that’s all,” Durant wrote. “I love the show.”

While many believe Durant’s use of Twitter reveals some of his insecurities — and there’s an undeniable truth to that — I more appreciate his candor and willingness to speak to fans in an unfiltered setting. Durant is a rare star who offers a glimpse of his head. Such insight is a benefit of social media.

Yet this Warriors-Celtics series isn’t about him, or his past interaction with Curry. Curry and Durant are great on their own and were great with each other. Curry doesn’t need to win this championship, without Durant, to cement his legacy: remember, he, Green and Thompson won the 2015 crown, with a supporting cast of Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and other effective actors. Similarly, a Warriors victory do not dilute Durant’s splendor during his Golden State years – or now.

Durant led Team USA to a gold medal in Tokyo last summer when most of his superstar brethren couldn’t care less about interrupting their vacations. Of course, his decision to ditch the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019 didn’t pay off: The Nets were knocked out in a tough second-round series by eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks there. is a year old, and Boston has swept Brooklyn in the first round this season. But those results have less to do with his game and are more down to injuries, questionable Nets trade decisions – the James Harden era in Brooklyn was a failed experiment – and Kyrie Irving’s refusal to get a shot. a decision that kept him on the sidelines. for most of this season.

A golden reconstruction

Forget Brooklyn. Forget the 2018 Golden State Warriors. Focus on the present. The Warriors’ management has smartly rebuilt itself around its top three players, all of whom overcame injuries — and questions about their durability — to win the West again. Once Durant declared his intention to leave, general manager Bob Myers managed to secure a sign-and-trade deal in the summer of 2019, flipping KD for dynamic point guard D’Angelo Russell, a player whose team knew he was unlikely to co-exist with. Curry/Thompson Splash Brothers are for the long haul but could be a valuable trade chip. And indeed, in February 2020, Golden State sent Russell and some bench players to Minnesota for Andrew Wiggins, an athletic 6’7″ forward and a few 2021 draft picks. Wiggins has struggled with his effectiveness as a as an offensive centerpiece in Minnesota, but has thrived in a more complementary role alongside Curry, Green and now Thompson, who returned from a hiatus of more than two seasons, due to a torn ACL and an Achilles injury in January. . Wiggins hit a career-high 39% three-point range this season and made the All-Star team.

Golden State also smartly drafted and developed young players like guard Jordan Poole, the late 2019 first-round pick who became a serious scoring threat; he’s averaging 18.4 points per game in the playoffs and shooting more than 90 percent from the foul line. The Warriors have the opportunity to write one of the greatest team successes of all time, joining franchises like the San Antonio Spurs, who won five championships over a 15-year span from 1999 to 2014, and post-Shaq, Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles Lakers, who after the 2000-2002 treble won two more titles in 2009 and 2010, as organizations capable of rotating new supporting actors around one or more main stars, while reaching the top . They will form a dynasty that will span a decade.

Unless the Celtics – remember them? – spoil the ending.

More Must-Have Stories from TIME


Write to Sean Gregory at sean.gregory@time.com.




gb7

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button