Throughout Kevin Durant's three-season tenure with the Warriors, some media and fans loudly wondered just whose team it was.
For instance, Jay Williams, an ESPN analyst and Durant's friend, pondered on "Get Up" if "M-V-P" chants directed at Golden State star Steph Curry -- which Williams neglected to mention would be directed at Durant, too, when he played -- made Durant wonder if the Warriors could ever be his team. Never mind that Durant said -- from the beginning -- that his decision to join the Warriors was driven by his desire to improve as a basketball player, potential tension surrounding the Warriors' offensive pecking order was a constant storyline with Durant in the Bay Area.
Yet David West, who played with Durant and Curry for two seasons, said Tuesday there wasn't much of a question in the Warriors' locker room.
"The environment in Golden State is his personality."
Warriors legend David West on Steph Curry's leadership and how he deferred to KD when he joined pic.twitter.com/bXKY6SuGIy— Chris Montano (@gswchris) November 20, 2019
"Before the issue could arise of whose team it was or who was going to get the ball to start the game, we saw right away in, like, the first couple pickup games: He deferred," West said of Curry on FS1's "The Herd" on Tuesday. "He was the bigger player and just said ... 'We're gonna start playing through KD in the fourth quarter. We're gonna close with KD.'"
Curry led the Warriors in field-goal attempts per game in two of the three regular seasons he played with Durant, with Durant leading the team in 2017-18 when Curry played just 51 games. Durant, however, led Golden State in shots per game in two of their three playoff runs, and won back-to-back NBA Finals MVPs.
Along with Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson, Curry was one of the four Warriors who pitched Durant on coming to Golden State during their Hamptons meeting three summers ago. He knew what he was getting into by recruiting a fellow MVP, and West said Curry embraced that fact from the start.
"That was a part of his way of sort of leading the group," West said. "[He] was like, 'I'm gonna take a backseat. Let's get the ball to KD. I'll find a way to do what I need to do."
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Curry's efforts to make Durant feel comfortable ultimately continued after they were teammates when he still visited with Durant after learning he had joined the Brooklyn Nets while on a flight from China.
Given how West described the start of Curry and Durant's on-court relationship, that should have come as no surprise.
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