An NBA playoff series is never truly over until one team wins four games, but former Brooklyn Nets guard Mike James revealed this week that Kevin Durant was admitting defeat to the Boston Celtics before the series was even over.
Appearing this week on an episode of the Players Choice podcast, James said that he and Durant had an arrangement. Since he was playing overseas, whoever was eliminated first would travel to watch the other one play in the playoffs.
"[Kevin Durant] called me before the playoffs start, he's like, 'Yeah, I'm gonna be there [at your playoff game] in like a couple weeks. We fitting to lose.'" 🤯
— Mike James
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 1, 2022
Initially, James didn’t expect Durant to be the one traveling – he expected to be watching his former teammate in the NBA Finals.
“When I went back overseas, [we talked] like, ‘Alright, whoever season end first, the other one gonna come to watch the playoffs,’” said James. “When I first said it, I thought, ‘OK, you’re gonna be in the Finals. I’m gonna get to go to the Finals, that’s lit.’”
Even when the Nets struggled at the beginning of the series, Durant was still confident.
“So when they was trash and they was losing, I called him one day and was like, ‘Alright, you know what this means right? You gonna come to my playoff game,’ James recalled. “He was like, ‘It’s no way I’m coming to your playoff game.”
But then, suddenly, Durant’s tune changed.
“Then like a week later, he called me before the [Euroleague] playoffs start. He’s like, ‘Yeah, imma be there in like a couple of weeks. We fitting to lose.”
Ultimately, he was right – Boston swept Brooklyn in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. And to his credit, Durant did make good on his promise and was in attendance for one of James’ playoff games.
Still, it’s rare you have an elite competitor conceding defeat before the series is officially over.