Stephen Curry: ‘Hell, Yeah’ I Would Have Played With Kevin Durant Again
Did Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors actually consider the idea of a blockbuster trade to bring their former superstar teammate Kevin Durant back to the Bay Area?
“Hell, yeah!” Curry tells Rolling Stone.
Curry sat down for a series of wide-ranging conversations as part of Rolling Stone’s October cover story, about athlete activism and philanthropy, mental health and public policy, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and much more. Curry talked a little hoops, too.
In one of five interviews, Curry revealed that he and the Warriors legitimately discussed whether and how to blow up the roster of the defending NBA champions this summer for a reunion with Durant, who dramatically split from Golden State in 2019 for the Brooklyn Nets following back-to-back titles.
Durant reconciled with the Nets late last month, after reportedly requesting a trade and demanding that his team’s owner fire the head coach and general manager. But Curry says his fellow future Hall of Famer is “misunderstood” — and that he would have welcomed back Durant with open arms.
As Curry told Rolling Stone on Aug. 9, three days after Durant’s reported ultimatum to the Nets’ ownership: “There was a conversation internally amongst us about ‘If he was available, would you?’ Every team has those conversations, and obviously in our situation, they’re gonna call me and ask me, ‘How do you feel about it?’
“I was never hesitant. The idea of playing with KD and knowing who he is as a person, from our history in those three years, I think KD’s a really good dude. I think he is misunderstood. I think he has had certain things happen in his life that hurt his ability to trust people around him, in a sense of making him feel safe at all times. So all of those things, I understand, having played with him and gotten to know him. I love that dude.
“And if you said, ‘Oh, KD’s coming back, and we’re gonna play with him,’ I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ Then you have to think: What does that actually mean? What does it look like? You tell me I’m playing with [current Warriors teammates Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, and Draymond Green], I’m like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ There’s all types of emotion and things that happen to the league. And if anybody’s saying that you wouldn’t entertain that conversation — no disrespect to anybody on our team — but you don’t know how things work. But you also understand, like, if we run this thing back, I’ve got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.
“So, all those things were true. And it started with me wanting to play with KD at the beginning. Yeah, it’s about winning, it’s about having fun, playing the game of basketball. And that was part of the reaction of, like, ‘Yeah, it’d be amazing.’ What does that actually mean?”
Curry also talked with his brother Seth, the Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, about a potential Durant recoupling. “For him to even be entertaining the thought of having KD back on the team kind of speaks to his character,” Seth told Rolling Stone on July 13. “Who knows? I might be in the trade with him.”
In the course of shadowing Curry last month, I observed him discussing the trade market for Durant with Snoop Dogg. Curry suggested that Durant had unrealistic expectations that his preferred destinations would retain superstar rosters, despite Brooklyn’s high asking price: “Man, he thinks that they’re gonna go to teams — like if he went to Phoenix — that they’re gonna be the same team if he’s there,” Curry told Snoop. Of the Boston Celtics, he said, “They have a little bit of everything, but they would have to deal with the organizational transition to get rid of Jaylen [Brown]. He’s such a pivotal piece.… If they would have done that—” Curry broke apart his fingertips in an explosion, and agreed with Snoop that Durant was better off staying with the Nets.
Curry is “absolutely” committed to winning the title again this year. But the game isn’t his only focus. Curry has raised his profile as a businessman, humanitarian, and — slowly but surely — activist and more vocal political leader. This summer, the reigning champ welcomed Rolling Stone behind the scenes as he considered his place in the history books.
Rolling Stone’s profile of Curry goes online on Monday morning.
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