Would Kevin Durant have signed with the Warriors if Golden State didn't blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals?
The answer is no.
"It felt like that whole thing was set up for me to leave," Durant recently told Rolling Stone magazine. "Especially after they blew a lead in the Finals, because I damn sure wasn't going there if they'd won.
"But after Game 7, I called up my agent and said, 'Damn, dude, Golden State – what if?'"
There's another "what if" at play: What if the Thunder didn't blow a 3-1 lead to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals?
When Oklahoma City was one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012, Durant literally had visions.
"Man, I saw us in the ball caps and T-shirts, with our fans going crazy and dancing," Durant said. "That town was so good to us, showed us love even when we lost. I wanted it more for them than even me."
But the Thunder didn't get it done, and then the Warriors didn't get it done -- which paved the way for Durant's path to the Bay Area.
After nine seasons with the franchise -- one in Seattle and eight in Oklahoma City -- the 2014 MVP decided to go in a different direction.
"For nine years, he refused to speak a word against that team – he loved those guys and that city," Durant's mother, Wanda, explained. "But this summer he said, 'Mama, I can't do it anymore. They're not in this thing with me, we're not together like we were – I feel like I need something different.'"