"It's been that way since I got here, it's the Warriors and KD," Durant said at his team's Friday shootaround. "... I feel like my teammates and the organization know exactly what I've done here on and off the court to become part of his culture to ... stamp my flag in this culture and this organization. I've done in the last two years pretty much everything that they asked me to do."
Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle provided video of Warriors point guard Stephen Curry offering similar sentiments:
"At the end of the day, we are one group until we're not," Curry said. "I don't think we're going to let any noise around us—as frustrating or entertaining or whatever you want to call it is on a daily basis—break us down in terms of distracting us from what the goal is."
Curry also referenced a double-edged sword the Warriors face: If Durant is playing well, Curry said, then people claim that the team is "playing a different style that's not as fun to watch."
If the Warriors are playing well without Durant, then Curry said the question is whether the Warriors are better or more fun to watch without him.
The comments come on the heels of Durant's upcoming free agency, his right calf injury and his ongoing feud with Fox Sports' Chris Broussard.
He has also been out with a right calf strain since the third quarter of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals versus the Houston Rockets. Golden State, which started the playoffs 6-4, won that matchup, closed out Houston in Game 6 and swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the conference finals.
As for Broussard, the analyst made the following comments on his radio show (h/t Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle) regarding Durant's potential feelings about his team winning without him:
"Right now, Kevin Durant's worst nightmare is coming to pass," Broussard said on the show. "...This is why it's KD's worst nightmare. ...If people were already belittling, to a degree, the two championships that Kevin Durant has won with Golden State, what in the world do you think they're gonna think of those two championships if—and it may be a big if—the Golden State Warriors win it all without him?"
The two have since battled back and forth on social media.
Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what anyone thinks of how the Warriors are doing with or without Durant or whether people are or aren't trying to split the two apart.
The bottom line is Golden State has won two straight titles with relative ease with KD and are the clear favorites to do so with or without him this year. History won't remember people's thoughts on the matter—only the rings and dominance.