Kurtenbach: Steph Curry’s brilliant lead is due to Kevin Durant’s failure in the playoffs

Here’s a fun fact: Stephen Curry has never lost a playoff.

Now he’s definitely lost in the postseason. And yes, he and the Warriors failed to make it out of the play-in last season.

But even as a freshman in his third year in 2013, Curry didn’t come out of the postseason in four games.

Kevin Durant held the same title until Monday night, when his Brooklyn Nets were eliminated from the first-round series against the Boston Celtics.

Now, when I say the Nets are Durant’s team, I don’t mean an offhand recognition of his on-court prowess.

No, the Nets are Durant’s team. In a way that only LeBron James can match, Durant’s influence in Brooklyn is unlimited.

The head coach was his boyfriend. The front office follows his orders. And so you can put that awkward exit from the first round at his feet.

As former Bay Area News Group Warriors writer Wes Goldberg told me Monday night on my KNBR show, “There’s a difference between player powers and player rights.”

You might argue that Durant and his select associates Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons have crossed that line.

And if conversations about this league can’t go beyond consistently comparing Steph Curry to Durant, then we also have to admit that Curry has never come close to crossing the line between empowerment and rights.

Perhaps that’s why the Warriors are one win away from the second round, looking at a path to the NBA Finals that’s much smoother than it seemed just a few weeks ago.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Nets were the boldest experiment in NBA history. The one that has failed miserably so far.

Three years ago, Nets owner Joe Tsai and his general manager, Sean Marks, in an effort to carve out a spot in the market, struck a deal with Durant and Irving they couldn’t refuse:

Here is the NBA team. You may not own it, but you two will be in command. And since Irving’s head seemed to be anywhere but on the court, this is really Durant’s team.

Tsai and Marks must have seen the success of the Heat with LeBron James and the subsequent success of the Warriors and thought, “Building a super team isn’t that hard.”

Hire talent builders, put a laid-back but competitive guy named Steve in charge, and fill the rest of the roster with role-players who want to live in New York and play at the bare minimum.

If only it were that easy.