I was sitting on the curb with my family, as all the town spread out through the neighborhood to watch and enjoy the annual 4th of July parade. Everything was going great, and then my Dad came to me and all he said was “he’s a Warrior.” My brother and I just looked at each other, not saying a single word. Then my brother, a huge Kevin Durant fan, got mad and kept asking himself why he would just abandon Oklahoma City like that. I was wondering the same thing, and muttered under my breath a single word: “coward”.
What Kevin Durant did this past week is something we have never seen before. It’s something we all would have laughed at just a couple of months ago, when Durant and the Thunder lost Game 7 to the Warriors after having a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals. It’s something that despite being a strong possibility, a lot of us really didn’t think twice about. And it’s definitely something we couldn’t fully grasp when it actually happened. Kevin Durant is a phenomenal player, arguably one of the best ever, but I am beyond frustrated by this move. I absolutely hate the choice he made, but on the other hand I understand why he chose to do it. Still, despite my understanding for him making the choice, he shouldn’t have made it. I desperately hope that the Warriors somehow don’t win the championship this year, and I desperately hope that at the end of the season Durant opts out and signs with another team, realizing that he made a stupid decision.
I always thought Durant was one of those very loyal players who will stay a Thunder for the majority or even the entirety of his career. It never even crossed my mind that he could just abandon the city and the team that took him into the NBA, raised him as both a player and a person, and made him the man he is. The Thunder were always in championship contention, and this offseason I thought they took the extra steps needed to win it all by acquiring Victor Oladipo and Domatas Sabonis. Add all of that the brotherhood he has with superstar point guard Russell Westbrook and there was no possible way Durant could leave, right? Wrong. Durant ditched the only NBA team he’s ever known, the fans that have been cheering and supporting him for the past nine seasons, and a group that has been by his side every step of the way in exchange for the bay area.
The Warriors are now a super team like nobody has ever seen, possessing an extremely lethal big four. They have the last three MVP’s in Durant and Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson who is widely considered the best shooting guard in the league, and Draymond Green who is arguably the best power forward in the league. That’s flat-out unbelievable. Durant didn’t need to go to the Thunder’s enemy, though. The Thunder were one game away from beating the Warriors just last season! And they got better this offseason! They were in as good of a position as ever to win a chip until he left! Durant would have been the hometown hero who stuck it through and brought a championship to OKC. Imagine how great his legacy would have been then. But no. Stop the daydreaming because in reality Durant made the move that will forever dent his legacy and damage his reputation by joining what already was the best team in NBA history statistically speaking. He basically said to the entire Thunder organization “I gave up on you.”
This is much worse than Lebron’s decision. When Lebron left Cleveland for Miami in the summer of 2010, he was joining a Heat team that couldn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs and needed that extra asset to put alongside his good friend Dwayne Wade. Durant however, leaves the Thunder who were championship contenders every year for the one team they couldn’t beat; the 73-9 Golden State Warriors. Durant joined a team that was already the juggernaut of the league, and made them basically unstoppable. He took the easy way out because he wanted to win a chip so badly that it seems as if he completely ignored the fact that the Thunder were a top three team in the league before he left. Lebron left Cleveland for a non-contender at the time, Durant left a contender for the best team in the league. It’s really a shame. I, for one, have lost a lot of respect for Durant after seeing this move. I don’t know if I’m on the level where I would burn his jersey or blow up a pair of his shoes, but I lost a lot of respect for KD throughout the past couple of days.
I understand that Durant wanted to put himself in the best position to win a championship as soon as possible, and obviously Golden State was the best place for that, but he is taking the easy way out. He is hopping on the bandwagon and sort of “cheating” himself into winning a title, so to say. I feel bad for the Thunder and all the small market teams in the NBA. This is their Achilles heel. They have big players who they often can’t hold onto due to the big market teams with more to offer. But I thought the Thunder did everything they needed to do to hold on to Durant. Apparently they didn’t. I really hope that the Thunder make it to the playoffs and do some damage, and I hope Russell Westbrook plays the best basketball of his career with the end result being an MVP trophy. Durant even said himself that it pains him to disappoint so many people. If it really pained him that much, I don’t think he would have made the decision.
The Warriors will be quite the sight to see for however long Durant stays on the team. Every other team in the league can basically start preparing for next offseason since the Warriors basically have the championship in their hands already. There is so much pressure on the Durant and the Warriors as a whole to win a chip that even if they go 82-0, not winning a championship would equal a disappointing season. This move makes me mad at the NBA and the Warriors. It seems as if they have an endless wallet of cash. I bet they will even find some sort of way to keep all four of them as each of their contracts expire. I don’t know anymore.
I want to wrap up my seemingly endless rant with this. Kevin Durant is an amazing basketball player. If the chemistry works out the Warriors will be able to do some amazing things. And for all you Warriors fans in basketball heaven right now or all the “Warriors fans” writing Durant’s name on an old Warriors jersey, it’s going to be one hell of a show to watch. But to Kevin Durant I just ask this one question: why? Why would you leave the team who has meant so much to you to join forces with the team you couldn’t beat. It doesn’t make any sense. I hope you have fun dealing with the fact that you let so many people down and you essentially left all of Oklahoma City feeling as if they were nothing to you. I hope that if you do hold up that Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season you realize that you made a silly mistake and that it would have meant so much more if you had won it as a Thunder. It seems as if all the past nine years went down the drain and all the progress you and the Thunder have made as a team vanished. Now the Thunder need to regroup themselves and figure out how to cope without your leadership. Doesn’t that make you feel bad? All I know is it’s sad to see such a superb player make a decision that hurts so many people and erases his legacy as much as it does.