Kevin Durant played with an elite point guard in OKC. He will be playing with another elite point guard when the season stars with the Warriors. Turns out though that another elite point guard, albeit a retired one, may have had more to do with him changing teams than either Westbrook or Curry.


Steve Nash started working for the Warriors last season as a player development consultant. It’s a pretty sweet gig. All he really has to do is show up once in a while and work with the players. Maybe send some inspirational text messages or address the team before a big game. He didn’t want a full time job because he wanted to enjoy retired life for a bit but his small role may have helped the Warriors land a huge fish in KD.

When Nash was still with the Lakers in 2014, he agreed to do a Vice Sports series called “Back & Forth.” It was a cool thing to do and most fans probably don’t even remember it but he did have one memorable episode with Durant. With Nash directing the easy going conversation, the two stars bonded and became friends.

It was that blossoming friendship that allowed the Warriors to feel like they had somewhat of a leg up on the competition.

“Steve knows us–our culture and our guys–so well,” says Golden State assistant coach Bruce Fraser, who was with Nash in Phoenix, as were several other Warriors staffers. “He doesn’t sell anybody on anything. He’s just a great sounding board.” Fraser was also crucial, because he is close to Nash and spoke with him throughout the process. The Warriors were therefore able to understand Durant’s concerns and address them.

As one Golden State executive told SI, “Without Steve Nash, I’m not sure we get Kevin Durant.”

The Warriors never really knew where they stood in KD’s mind because they always assumed his relationship with Westbrook would be the toughest thing to pry him away from OKC. Due to the uncertainty of both KD & Russ for their future together, the Warriors were able to use any advantage they had to woo Durant to the Bay. If the Warriors win a title they better make sure Nash gets a ring.