This is part two of my exploration of the “cats” with whom Kevin Durant “[couldn’t] win a championship with”. Durant was clowned on a lot for that statement, but we really should be clowning on all those guys who he had to share the court with, so that’s what I’m going to do. If you enjoy my content, consider donating to my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/downtobuck
Robert Swift (07-08 to 08-09 Supersonics/Thunder): This guy was already in his fourth year in the league when Durant was a rookie, but he was chronically injured and never played a full season. Injured players don’t help you win championships unless they’re so bad at basketball that being injured actually helps the team. After moving on from the NBA, Swift played in Japan for a bit and then ran, like, a meth lab in a foreclosed house before getting arrested, and then getting arrested again for having a gun he shouldn’t have had. Meanwhile Durant was winning championships and making petty replies to randos on Twitter.
Anthony Morrow (14-15 to 16-17 Thunder): I love Anthony Morrow. In my opinion he should be in the league RIGHT NOW (if you think I am joking right now you are welcome to unsubscribe from the internet). The reason that Durant considered Morrow to not be made of championship material is because Durant was jealous of Morrow’s three-point shooting ability. Morrow might have been the only player that Durant played with in OKC who was the superior long-range shooter to him.
Luke Ridnour (07-08 Supersonics): The final iteration of the Supersonics could have been a championship contender if they had Chris Paul (then in his third year) instead of Luke Ridnour.
Caron Butler (13-14 Thunder): After being poo for the Bucks in the first half of the season, Butler got traded to OKC at the deadline and came off the bench for 22 games. If this was Sam Presti’s way of strengthening the team for a championship push, it totally didn’t work, as the Thunder lost to the Spurs in the conference finals with Butler averaging 6 PPG. Can’t win a championship with that cat. Will Presti ever figure out that there’s a middle ground between acquiring low-volume defensive specialists and acquiring inefficient chuckers?
Mike Wilks (07-08 Supersonics and 09-10 Thunder): I admit it. I’ve never heard of “Mike Wilks” even though he played for seven seasons. He was like another Royal Ivey, just barely hanging on in the league for his entire career as a third-stringer. As Durant probably deduced at some point, a player who plays for nine different teams in a seven-year span is probably not going to be a pivotal piece for a championship-bound squad. I bet if you asked Durant about Mike Wilks right at this moment, he wouldn’t know who you’re talking about.
Hasheem Thabeet (12-13 to 13-14 Thunder): The most useful stretch of play to occur in Thabeet’s career happened while he was donning a Thunder jersey. He even got a double-double! That didn’t stop him from being a major bustlord, though. After getting traded to the Sixers in the 2014 off-season, he was done. Now he’s trying to make a comeback at age 32 by leaking underwhelming workout videos and telling people he has a jumpshot.
Nick Collison (07-08 Supersonics to 15-16 Thunder): I think when Durant excluded Russell Westbrook from his list of cats who he couldn’t win with, he also should have excluded Collison on the grounds that Collison was loyal to the franchise and was a solid low-minutes guy that most contenders would have wanted on their team. Even a scoring-minded player like Durant can understand what Collison brought to the table (it definitely wasn’t scoring). Durant even showed up to Collison’s jersey retirement even though everybody in OKC hates his guts, demonstrating that Durant was at least somewhat fond of Collison as a teammate. Or he’s just aware that he needs to keep up appearances.
DeMarcus Cousins (18-19 Warriors): Durant might have a fragile ego and a petty streak, but he’s not an idiot when it comes to the game of basketball, and he probably realized at the time of the Cousins signing that adding Cousins to the already-stacked Warriors wasn’t actually going to help them win a championship. And guess what? They didn’t win the ‘chip. I promise that I have taken all other factors into account when blaming Cousins for their finals loss.
Kyle Singler (14-15 to 15-16 Thunder): Durant-Singler relations reached a new low when Durant released a diss track on SoundCloud called “Singled Out (Get Kyle Singler Off My Team)”. Even worse? Durant didn’t even bother to release it under an alternate SoundCloud account. He used his main one. And he performed it live on the Ellen Degeneres show.
Kevin Durant (07-08 Supersonics to 18-19 Warriors): Durant likes to complain that his teammates were trash, but who was the common denominator on all the teams that Durant played on? That’s right. Durant himself. Sometimes, you can’t even trust the person looking back at you in the mirror.