Barry: I Hope Durant Realizes The Opportunity He Has

No one knows what Kevin Durant will do in free agency, but Rick Barry would tell him to stay – for many reasons

Zach Gelb
May 28, 2019 - 3:04 pm
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It remains to be seen what Kevin Durant will do in free agency this offseason, but if Rick Barry were advising him, he would offer a simple piece of advice:

Stay.

“I’m praying that Kevin Durant understands and realizes the opportunity he has to be a part of a team that could be one of the greatest teams in the history of your sport by staying here and having multiple championships that they could win,” Barry said on The Zach Gelb Show. “To go off on your own and not even know if you’ll ever have a chance again to win, I don’t understand that. But whatever he wants to do, I love watching him play. He’s an amazing player, a nice person. I just hope he decides to stay.”

Durant, however, seems perturbed by the notion that the Warriors don’t need him to win and that they may even be better without him.

“Well, he should not worry about it,” Barry said. “I think he proved himself. He’s the MVP of the (Finals) two years in a row. You don’t win by yourself. You have to have teammates to win. In a team sport, you don’t win by yourself. He’s part of a team. He’s a very integral part of an incredible team, so why would you want to go someplace else where you may never have the experience again of winning like these guys win? And not have to worry about carrying the load all the time but still know that you can be an MVP of a championship series, which he’s done twice?

“I can’t think for him,” Barry continued. “I’m a lot older. You can’t put an old head on young shoulders. I probably might be thinking like he was when I was that age, but now with an older head on my shoulders I would give anything to be on a team like he’s on right now. I’d give up part of my salary to play on a team like the Warriors, to win championships.”

Barry led the Warriors to an NBA title in 1975. He was Finals MVP and relishes the accomplishment to this day.

“It’s not about the money; it’s about being a part of something incredibly special,” he said. “My memories of what happened in 1975 – still the biggest upset in the history of the NBA in the Finals – and when I get together with my teammates, it’s such a special thing. Why would you want to leave that? I just don’t know. But I don’t know what he’s thinking, and I’ll certainly not criticize him if he decides to leave. l’ll wish him all the best because I think he’s a great player and a good person. I just hope he decides to stay.”

Click below to listen to Barry’s interview in its entirety.