CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett feels Kevin Durant has ruined the NBA.
Garrett is among those who believe Durant wrecked the NBA when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder and took significantly less money to join a 73-win Golden State Warriors team as a free agent during the summer of 2016.
“K.D. broke the league,” Garrett said in an exclusive interview on The Ken Carmen Show with Anthony Lima on FM/92.3 The Fan Thursday.
“You hopped onto a 73-9 team and he took the easy way out in my mind.”
With Durant, the Warriors have won the NBA Finals in each of the past two seasons.
Although Durant was the latest player to join a “super team,” Garrett believes that situation differed significantly from when Cavaliers small forward LeBron James left Cleveland in 2010 to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat.
“He went to [Miami to join] Wade and Bosh, and it wasn’t something that was already guaranteed, something that you already knew was going to have immediate success,” Garrett said. “You kind of had to jell and work things into place.
“But with KD, you just stick him in and he scores. You already knew what they had. They were 73-9 before and you put the second-best player in the world on an already all-time great team, and of course you’re going to have success and pretty easy success. Anybody can have an off night, and [they’re] still able to find a way to win.”
On the way to his second straight NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, Durant averaged 28.75 points, 10.25 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.0 blocked shots over 41.0 minutes of action in the four-game sweep of the Cavaliers.
Durant had scoring lines of 26, 26, 43 and 20 over the four games against the Cavaliers this postseason, and registered a triple-double of 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the close-out game.
When Durant left the Thunder, he teamed up with the likes of two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, as well as multi-time All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, as well as standout reserves Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, and Shaun Livingston.
“If I were him, I would’ve never made a move like that in the first place,” Garrett said. “Me, I’m too competitive to try and ride on somebody’s coat tails to get a W, but for him, you might as well stay at the spot you’re at now. There’s no point in leaving since you’ve already taken that moniker where he’s been called the snake and the cupcake and all that. You might as well stay and just keep on winning.”
As to how Garrett would go about “fixing” the NBA, he believes a “hard cap” is the way to go, which is something James fought against as an executive with the NBPA because the current structure allows players to make higher salaries.
“I guess he made his own demise or caused his own demise, but at the end of the day, I’d rather see hard caps,” Garrett said. “It focuses more on team play and having chemistry instead of getting the big player who’s going to go out and change the game.
“You can get a couple of guys like Boston, who didn’t have their two star players, and yet, they went to the Eastern Conference Finals because they all gave a collective effort. Everybody pitched in and were almost successful.”