Enes Kanter Believes The Thunder Could’ve Won 2017 Championship If Kevin Durant Had Stayed

Photo Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Enes Kanter Believes The Thunder Could’ve Won 2017 Championship If Kevin Durant Had Stayed


The Oklahoma City Thunder were one win away from reaching their first Finals appearance since 2012. Forging a 3-1 lead against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder struggled to close out and were eventually ousted in Game 7.

When the next season began, Kevin Durant was already in a Golden State uniform.

The aftermath of these two incidents didn’t sit well with Enes Kanter, who played for the Thunder for three seasons. In an interview with Stadium’s Shams Chanaria, the 27-year old center discussed blowing a 3-1 lead to the Warriors and losing Durant in free agency a couple of weeks after. 


“I know we could have beat the Cavs. That was the hard part,” Kanter said. “After the game was over, the next day, I’m like, you know what, we had everything (we needed) to go out there and win the championship, we’re just going to get back next year and try to do the same thing.”

“I was heartbroken when KD left,” Kanter said. “I think if KD didn’t leave, we could’ve won a championship just the next year. I believe that.”



Durant shook the world when the news of him joining the Warriors were announced. This free agency move instantly drew a lot of criticism due to parity concerns and the notion that he wanted an easy path to win a championship. 

The Durant-led Warriors went on to compete in three consecutive NBA Finals, bagging two championships in the process, with KD winning two Finals MVPs.

On the flipside, Durant’s former team, the OKC Thunder, were eliminated in the first round in three consecutive years since his departure. Even with the emergence of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, it wasn’t enough to put them back on the map as a top-caliber title contender.

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