Appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with the Larry O’Brien Trophy in tow, back-to-back NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant humored the late-night host when asked about the possibility of LeBron James somehow joining the Golden State Warriors as a free agent this offseason.
“I just don’t think that’ll happen. I don’t want to go there,” Durant said. “Someone who’s listening is going to write something. I don’t know. I’ll stay on my side, for sure.”
Durant, who endured serious scrutiny when he joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016, later said he thinks “a lot of players might be too afraid to come and play for us.”
“The backlash is a lot, I don’t know if they’re ready for that,” he added. “My pitch for every free agent: You might get some backlash, but you might get one of these.”
If anyone could handle the backlash as well as Durant, James would be that player. No matter where he decides to play next season he will face a degree of backlash comparable to that of when he left Cleveland for Miami in 2010.
However, Golden State and its roster of four All-Stars making anywhere from $17-$38 million in 2018-19 is an unlikely destination for The Chosen One. The Dubs will focus their efforts on completing a new deal for Durant and likely cruise to another deep playoff run next season.