I don't much care for Kevin Durant
Unlike Lil B, I cannot forgive Kevin Durant.
While the Bay Area rapper lifted his “curse” last summer when Durant signed with the hometown Golden State Warriors, I have no reason to let him off the hook. In fact, after this year’s NBA Finals, I have even more reason to hate The Slim Reaper.
With one move, Durant single-handedly removed any drama from the NBA. While many made this prediction a year ago, I did not truly understand the impact of his signing until I saw the destruction of the Cavaliers in the championship series.
Durant’s move is unprecedented. Never before has there been a team with the talent overload the Warriors have. Never before has one team had two former MVPs playing together in their primes.
Did I mention Golden State already had an all-time great shooter and one of the top defenders in the league?
Some would argue Durant is not responsible for the competitiveness of the NBA. They’re right. That doesn’t mean his move—and now his legacy—is immune to criticism.
Was Durant really that far off from winning a championship in Oklahoma City? I don’t think so. His Thunder had the record-setting Warriors team down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals last season. That’s right: Durant was one win away from taking Oklahoma City to the Finals for a second time in his career.
Imagine if the Thunder would have pulled it off.
Russell Westbrook showed what he is capable of in what was most likely an MVP season. While the dynamic clearly was different with Durant gone, Westbrook’s talent was on full display all year. You’re telling me he and Durant aren’t enough to win a championship? I really feel the Thunder were not far off from a title.
But Durant took the easy way out.
Instead of plotting a way to take down the Warriors, who have been the class of the Western Conference for the last three seasons, Durant hopped on board.
Some NBA players spend their entire careers chasing a championship ring. It is often the most coveted accomplishment in the sport.
I can remember the frustration LeBron James felt before he got his first title. James was so fed up he jumped to Miami to start the “super team” era that we are in now.
Some might compare the moves by Durant and James, but the situations the two were entering were nowhere near the same. Yes, James brought all-star Chris Bosh along with him, but even that pales in comparison to the talent gap Durant’s Warriors have created.
James received his share of criticism in the move, but ultimately won a title without a “super team” last year. Durant will have to show me he can do it without the help of some of the NBA’s greatest.
While rings are the goal, they do not define individual success. Zaza Pachulia is not better than Charles Barkley just because he won a title.
Durant would have been remembered as an all-time great with or without a championship. But now, his name will always be linked to his decision to join Golden State.
I’m sure Durant will win more titles as long as the core roster remains. But that doesn’t mean I will like him. And it sure doesn’t mean I will like the NBA. In fact, my interest has started to wane.