Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry told Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle that ex-teammate Kevin Durant's three years in the Bay Area "were special" and that he's "extremely proud" of his team's run.
"The three years we had were special," Curry told Kroichick at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament on Thursday. "We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group.
"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn't mean you can put it all together, Curry continued. "... I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to re-create that."
Durant's Warriors career is over after the 10-time All-Star signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent. He averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists for Golden State, making the All-Star Game all three seasons and winning the NBA Finals MVP twice.
There's no questioning how well Durant performed in a Golden State uniform, but the backlash and criticism after KD signed with the Warriors in 2016 has been loud and long after a new superteam formed.
KD told Michael Lee of The Athletic in April 2019 that he knew what he was getting into when he signed with Golden State.
"I came here knowing for a fact, that every media member, every fan was going to call me every name in the book for however long I was here and I was going to take the brunt of everything. I knew coming here," Durant said. "But I wanted to be a part of this so bad, I didn’t give a f--k. Same with LeBron. He took all of that heat, no matter what."
That's more or less occurred for three years and came to an apex this season, notably when he went back-and-forth with Fox Sports' Chris Broussard (h/t Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle) regarding his Warriors legacy and whether it would be tarnished if the team won a title without the injured superstar.
Durant missed the entire Western Conference Finals and the first four games of the NBA Finals with a calf strain and suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in Game 5 that ended his brief championship-round stay.
As Curry said, though, the Warriors' collection of star talent didn't necessarily mean a title run was guaranteed. Star-studded teams have failed in the past: Of note, the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers assembled Steve Nash and Dwight Howard to play with Kobe Bryant and never made it out of the first round.
In that respect, Durant's Golden State tenure could be looked at in a more positive light, but he's already moved on to his next chapter.