This has been one helluva Fourth of July, huh?
Kevin Durant shocking the NBA world when he decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors earlier today created the amount of fireworks that would make a pyromaniac (and Jason Pierre-Paul) blush.
I mean what could be more shocking than a superstar joining the same team it blew a 3-1 series lead to in the Western Conference Finals? And the team that said superstar is joining already has a 2-time league MVP (Stephen Curry), the second best shooter – and one of the best defenders – in the NBA (Klay Thompson), and another dude who is quickly becoming one of the best all-around players in the league (Draymond Green).
Let me disclose something. I am a 42-year-old brotha who grew up watching the NBA in the 80s and 90s, so I am old school.
I didn’t see superstars like Magic Johnson, Julius “Dr. J” Irving, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Isiah Thomas joining other superstars in pursuit of championships during that time. All of those guys wanted to beat the crap out of each other to let them know just who the best was.
Hell, could you imagine Jordan joining Thomas’ “Bad Boy” Pistons before finally breaking through in 1991? Or Wilkins joining Bird’s Celtics because he couldn’t beat them in the playoffs?
That’s exactly what happened with Kevin Durant.
He joined the same Warriors that eliminated his squad in the Western Conference Finals. What makes matters worse is that his Thunder choked away a 3-1 series lead. And if THAT wasn’t bad enough, last year’s Thunder team was not only talented enough to win it all last year, it arguably talented enough to make a title run THIS coming season. If Durant would have stayed, of course.
Which is why I hate the idea of Durant joining the Warriors.
Durant is a superstar who went from one of the top three players in the NBA to a glorified Robin. The Warriors is, and will continue to be in the foreseeable future, Curry’s team.
If the Warriors do win the title next season, it may not be because of Durant. He would likely be just another dude who was along for the ride. I mean, Durant on last year’s Warriors squad would have made the difference between them winning one more game in this year’s Finals?
I’ll tell ya this. If Durant wanted to REALLY impress, and perhaps enhance his legacy, he should have joined the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics are an overachieving, well-coached team. They have some nice young players, led by Isaiah Thomas. They just had a great free agent signing in Al Horford. And most importantly, this STILL would have been Durant’s team.
And what better way for Durant to further assert himself as one of the top players in the league than to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference – not to mention give the storied Celtics an 18th title. After all, in order to be the man, you have to BEAT the man.
But alas, Durant decided to take the easy way out in joining the 73-win Warriors. It’s the classic “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.
Even LeBron thinks this is a bad idea.