Okay sports fans, here we are talking about one of the most popular headlines in the NBA. We all know what happened 0ver the 2016 off-season, it was the signing heard around the world. Maybe you expected 8 time all-star and arguably the 2nd greatest player in the league today to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder after being with the team for nearly a decade. But whether you anticipated that or not, no one expected him to join the Golden State Warriors, the team who came off of a record breaking NBA season, a team that beat Kevin Durant and his Thunder in the finals just months before the big decision.
First of all, let’s start with all of the non-biased stuff. In today’s NBA, everyone is a friend, which fans hate because, I mean, isn’t this supposed to be a competitive sport? Over the years the makeup of the NBA has changed, but what the fans want to see hasn’t. They all want to see two opposing forces who hate each other’s guts on and off the court go at it. Even fans of the millennial generation know of Michael Jordan against the Bad Boys Pistons, Kobe Bryant versus the entire league, and of course, the legendary Magic Johnson/Larry Bird rivalry. Why am I bringing this up? It answers why what happen over the 2016 off season is so historic, and why it’s one of the best things to happen to the league. Westbrook against Durant is the greatest rivalry the league has seen since Johnson against Bird. It’s obvious they’re not fond of each other, and it shows in how they play when they see the other on the court. It’s exciting to watch, it carries a lot of emotion and passion on both sides of the argument, and it’s definitely different.
Now on to the biased stuff. Who’s right who’s wrong? Is there a right or wrong? Was it a weak move on Kevin Durant’s part? Does Russell have a right to be upset? Let’s answer that last question first. It is yes. Kevin left without letting him know, that kinda sucks. Especially after the Thunder GM made trades and signings to build a better team around Kevin had he stayed and did an excellent job. But that’s that, you just don’t leave your boy without letting him know. I feel like that’s a given and has been confirmed as kind of an unspoken rule amongst players. We’re all in agreement with that it seems.
Now was Kevin Durant’s move a weak one? Yes. He’s a top 3 player in the NBA, a former MVP, has the capacity to boost a team with no talent to championship contention, can score in his sleep, and he joins a 73-9 team with two super star scorers, one of whom is the reigning MVP, and an all-star competitor and role player in Draymond Green. Now am I against forming teams that are great and winning and that work and that are fun to watch? Of course not none of us are. But when a player of the caliber of Durant joins a team that is already established and nearly undefeatable, you can’t help but feel like he’s resorting to a path of least resistance. Now should he have stayed with the Thunder? There’s no right or wrong answer to that. But he’s defeating the purpose of competition by wanting to be invincible. When Magic was defeated by his rival in Boston, he didn’t run to the Celtics to win a ring because he didn’t think he could win won on his own team. Michael didn’t join the Pistons after they beat him down twice in the Eastern Conference Finals. Kobe didn’t join the big three in Boston when they beat him and his undertalented Lakers in the Finals.
Obviously this move was made with a championship in mind. Which means he felt like he couldn’t earn it on his own. Of course nobody can accomplish such a feat without help, it’s a team sport. But with the talent that he chose to run to, it’s obvious that they’ll easily win a championship. But because of how easy it will be for him can we really say he’s earning that ring? Remember, they were nearly undefeatable without Kevin Durant. Once again, he chose the easiest way to a championship, and indignified himself by joining the team that embarrassed him in the Western Conference Finals months before his decision.
Now when it comes to Westbrook, I don’t understand what the Warriors or KD has against him. They play them as if something was done to them. They talk to the media as if they’re sticking up for Durant as the underdog, like he was the aggrieved party in his departing. Did I miss something? Did the Thunder kick Kevin off the team? Did Kevin not want to play in Golden State? Why are Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder the bad guys in the eyes on the Warriors team? Russell was left by Kevin and was left with an under talented team, and he’s making them win! Whenever the Warriors beat OKC, why do they feel as though it is some kind of special feat? Can’t they beat any team easily? Wasn’t that the point of recruiting Durant, to make things easy for them, to take away competition in the game of basketball? Am I being too opinionated? Maybe I am, and I don’t mean to ruffle feathers.
But the bottom line is: Kevin obviously took the path of least resistance. Westbrook hates him for that, but has no team to challenge the Warriors with, no one does. It’s one of the greatest rivalries in NBA history, but also the most one-sided. It’s exciting, but also sad to see. It’s unfair for the rest of the league how good the Warriors now are thanks to Kevin Durant. He should have nothing against Westbrook since he’s the one that left. And if and when Durant gets his championship, it can be reasonably doubted that he didn’t earn it.