Kevin Durant OKC Thunder exit is back in the news with Andre Iguodala revelations

Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

With Russell Westbrook’s trade, the OKC Thunder core quartet who played in the 2012 NBA Finals is gone. But, it’s Kevin Durant’s 2016 departure which is the hot topic once again.

While OKC Thunder fans continue to process the loss of Russell Westbrook it’s afforded Thunder Nation the opportunity to go back through 11 years of amazing memories. Many of those highlights feature moments from the era of what I like to call the Big Four. That would be the quartet of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka who will forever be cited as arguably the most talented team to never win the gold ball.

Westbrook’s exit represented the final member of that squad to leave the Thunder. And, with that, equal attention to the 2016 departure has been garnering attention in the news.

Recently Stephen A. Smith confirmed the story Thunder fans had heard via Nick Collison regarding the infamous dinner when “Durant looked Russell in the face and told him everything was good and he was returning .”

Smith said he had numerous sources.” Durant denied the validity of the report. Which given how off many of the recent journalist’s have missed the mark perhaps had some fans siding with the KD camp. (fast forward to 2:00 minute segment of youtube video below).

In fact, Kevin Durant immediately called Smith’s report B.S. as he cites in the above video:

"“Kevin Durant reached out, said it’s BS what I’m saying, you know. I should check my sources, you understand. And that’s all he said,” Smith said. “He did not elaborate, but I want to make sure I’m fair because I did emphasize that I did not speak to"

But, new life is being given to this time via an unlikely source. Andre Iguodala who is promoting his new book The Sixth Man is the person fueling the fire. Iggy who has no beef with Durant and was perhaps his closest friend on Golden State confirmed the Dubs were already recruiting KD a full season prior in 2014-15.

Moreover, by Iggy noting these internal whispers he gives credence to the collusion claims and implication the Dubs knew KD was coming legs.  Writer Evan Quarnstrom of FanSided sister site Blue Man Hoop offered details from an excerpt in Iguodala’s book:

"I had been hearing rumors about our team acquiring Kevin Durant since the midpoint of the prior season (2014-2015). It’s not uncommon for a player to know a lot more about these pending deals than the press does.Most of us know better than to share what we hear from the staff with members of the media, but the conversations were definitely happening… we were definitely hearing whispers around the organization that they were going to try to make something happen."

Geesh, that’s not great news for KD who was finally in a place where fans were seemingly back on his side.

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It’s all a moot point now, but as Thunder Nation processes the events of this past week it just serves to shine a light on Westbrook’s loyalty and how much he invested in trying to take his era of the OKC Thunder to the promised land.

Hindsight is 20-20, and KD had every right to go wherever he wanted. Still, it’s too bad Russ was the guy who took most of the hits during Durant’s era in OKC. And, as Iggy says players often know what’s going on long before anyone else.

If that’s the case, it’s also likely Westbrook if not cognizant at the time KD left for the Bay probably learned about it shortly after. Which would also offer an explanation for why he appeared angry (or was it hurt) in their initial meetings the following season.

Next. Reevaluating if big swing trades by Thunder and Raptors were worth the risk. dark

Anyway, it’s an oddity that just as Westbrook leaves OKC, KD’s departure three years ago is once again front and center.