ESPN NBA analyst Stephen A. Smith added quite an interesting twist to the recent Golden State Warriors-Kevin Durant drama — will he stay, or will he go? The 'First Take' host claimed he "heard that Durant will likely stay in the Bay Area should the Warriors lose to the Raptors," according to a report by SFGate.
Of course, with the Warriors heading to Toronto, down 3-1 in the best-of-seven championship series, the odds are against the back-to-back champs' prospect of completing the three-peat. This isn't a call or a plea for the Dubs to lie down and lose, rather, it is an encouraging possibility and light at the end of the tunnel that Warrior fans can latch onto in this dark and difficult point of the season.
Things don't seem to be breaking Golden State's way, just as the celestial bodies appeared to be aligned against the Warriors back in the 2016 Finals. Their loss to the Cavs, who overcame their own 3-1 deficit, was likely the catalyst that ended up bringing Kevin Durant to Oakland in the first place. Likewise, in this quickly unraveling and impending end to a soap opera-esque season, the Warriors organization and fans alike can look to Stephen A. Smith's insight into KD's big decision as a comfort during the storm.
SFGate covered Smith's thoughts and purported insider information on KD's "decision '19" in greater detail, here, hinting that the All-Pro forward will ultimately choose based on the outcome of the Finals and a certain Boston Celtics point guard he's been linked to:
"'I [Smith] have learned that Kyrie Irving has given every indication to the Brooklyn Nets that there is where he wants to go, not the New York Knicks,' Smith said on Tuesday. 'As a result of Kyrie Irving... I have not spoken to Kyrie Irving, I have not spoken to Kevin Durant let me be very, very clear... If [Irving] decides to go to Brooklyn, KD ain't interested in going to Brooklyn.'
Smith then said it would be down to the Knicks or Warriors for Durant, and his decision will be contingent on the outcome of the NBA Finals.
'The belief is that KD will either go to New York without [Kyrie] and convince him to come to New York or settle for somebody like a Kemba Walker,' he said. 'Or KD may decide to stay in Golden State. Whether or not he decides to go to Golden State, the belief is, it's contingent on whether or not Golden State wins. If they win the Finals, he leaves. If they lose, he stays.'"
If Stephen A. Smith is right, this present as a "win-win" situation of sorts. The Warriors, despite what some fans and analysts may believe, are a better team with Durant dressed in gold and blue. The difference, here, may be between scratching and clawing their way to a dramatic comeback in these Finals or setting the franchise up for even more prolonged dominance over the next few years.