The Warriors have won five straight games without Kevin Durant to reach their fifth straight NBA Finals.
Shannon Sharpe believes the squad hopes Durant's final game played this season has already happened, showing everyone they can win without the two-time Finals MVP.
"I think a part of them deep down, they don't want KD to come back," Sharpe said Tuesday morning on FS1's Undisputed. "They want to show that they're much more than a Kevin Durant team."
"Deep down the Warriors don't want KD to come back. They want to show that they're much more than a Kevin Durant team. I don't know if KD was playing any better than what Steph Curry played the last 5 1/2 games: 37, a triple-double, 13 rebounds last night." - @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/fqN69jx7iY— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 21, 2019
Is Sharpe listening to the actual players on the team? Draymond Green reiterated after sweeping the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals how the Warriors badly the Warriors need Durant in the Finals. He's even called it "idiotic" to think Golden State is better without KD.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson referred to Durant's greatness and wanting to get him back for the Finals throughout the series.
"Kevin Durant was playing great before he got hurt," Sharpe said. "I don't know if he was playing any better than Steph played the last 5 1/2 games."
Both can be true. Durant was averaging 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game this postseason before straining his right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. In the last five games, Curry has averaged 35.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists with KD sidelined.
That doesn't mean Curry hopes Durant stays on the shelf, and it certainly doesn't mean they can't co-exist on the biggest stage. The superstar duo has already proven they can in the previous two NBA Finals.
With all the speculation surrounding Durant's free agency and the Warriors' ability to win without him, there's been a narrative created that the Dubs don't want KD. The truth is, all they want is another ring, and having an all-time great on the court with you sure doesn't hurt.