Kevin Durant really did provide all the fireworks necessary on the 4th. He proclaimed his independence from the Oklahoma City Thunder to move to the Bay Area; a move that was shocking to just about everyone. It is almost unfathomable to imagine how explosive Golden State’s offense will be next season with Stephen Curry and Durant on the floor together- not to mention Draymond Green or Klay Thompson. I don’t really want to dwell on how great this roster is, but wow. They are far and away the favorite to win the NBA Championship next season and anything less would be a colossal disappointment.
What I do want to talk about though is something that has been bothering me and has been on the mind of the nation since Durant made his decision. The NBA has a serious problem that could potentially be the downfall of a league which has made tremendous strides. Players like each other too much. Stephen A. put it perfectly saying it was “the weakest move he has ever seen from a superstar.”
I know, players in every league are friends with each other. The issue with the NBA is the players are unable to separate friendship from basketball. Whether it be the Banana Boat crew or this new super team. Guys are far too concerned with chasing championships with their friends and finding any way to make that path easier. What happened to real rivalries? Those classic matchups between teams like the Pistons and the Bulls are what brought the NBA to the level it is today. Could you even imagine if MJ decided to bolt to join Isaiah Thomas and Dennis Rodman? Because that is exactly what the NBA has turned into today.
Players have decided that competition isn’t important to them. Adversity is something they are simply not interested in. Durant joining Golden State after coming within one game of beating them is a slap in the face to the team he spent his first 9 seasons with. The Lebron to Miami comparisons are fair, but Durant’s decision is far worse than that LeBron’s. LeBron went to a fringe playoff team with some element of risk to it. Miami certainly wasn’t a title contender prior to LBJ. Durant is joining an already all-time great team. Should the league just start over? Have the players pick teams to make sure they are with their friends? What has this turned into?
With Durant joining a fellow MVP and now reports of Dwayne Wade considering joining the Cavs, one really has to question what this league is becoming. The East has improved, but the Cavs are still the overwhelming favorites to return to the Finals. The same now goes for the Warriors. That means more likely than not we will have Cavs-Warriors Round 3. Exciting isn’t it?
Now, will this effect viewership for the Finals? The simple answer is no matter how many times they play each other, the Finals will always have high TV ratings. What will really suffer, though, is the regular season. Casual fans will wonder what the point of watching even is because the parity in the NBA is on its way to an all-time low. I know I was very excited to see what the Celtics could accomplish this season, but now all that interest has been sapped. Everyone outside of Cleveland and the Bay Area will be thinking Maybe next year.
Yet the main gripe I have with Durant going to the Warriors is what it says about him. He was supposed to be the guy that cared about legacy. The guy that was fighting against this non-competitive shift in the NBA. Well, he wasn’t. I’m glad people have been bringing back his old tweets because it makes one thing abundantly clear: Kevin Durant is a phony.
Maybe Ayesha was right? It sure feels like it now. I’ll see you all next June when we get another dose of Warriors-Cavs.