Damian Lillard Speaks Out On Kevin Durant Joining Warriors In 2016

Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said on the “It Is What It Is” show that he wouldn’t have joined the Golden State Warriors in 2016 as Kevin Durant did. The Warriors won an NBA record 73 games in 2015-16. Although they lost the 2016 championship to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Durant was ripped by NBA fans and pundits for joining a team that already won a title and made NBA history.

“I’ve said this plenty of times before. I think KD is obviously one of the greatest players of all time,” Lillard said. “But if I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t have done that personally.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns Updates

NBA legend Charles Barkley told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the “All The Smoke” podcast in February that Durant has to win a ring without the Warriors to “get the old heads’ respect.” Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016 after spending the first nine years of his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“KD is a great, great player. He is a great, great player.” Barkley said about Durant. “He’s sensitive, 100% sensitive. But what I said and I’ll stick by it: KD is a great, great player, but he’s going to have to win a championship without the Warriors to get the old heads’ respect.”

The Warriors won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018, with Durant winning both Finals MVPs. Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019 but missed the entire 2019-20 NBA season recovering from an Achilles tear. KD only won one postseason series with the Nets before requesting a trade and getting traded to the Phoenix Suns last season.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns Updates

Lillard has requested a trade from the Blazers and wants to get traded to the Miami Heat. Thus far, the Heat and Blazers have made no progress on a deal.

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