By now everyone’s hot takes have fizzled out, except Stephen A Smith who I’m sure is still pontificating and yelling nonsense at the world. With that being said, we’ve had over 24 hours to cry about how Kevin Durant is a coward and how he ruined the NBA and how there should be no regular season and how everyone hates the Warriors now and how LeBron is now the hero that Gotham needs. In my opinion, that’s all hot garbage. I’ll be the first to admit that I was overly confident that KD was going to stay in OKC to avenge the unfinished business him and Westbrook have long sought after. I also didn’t think Golden State’s interest was all that sincere. Not because they wouldn’t benefit from him but because it didn’t seem like a great fit. We have all believe KD to be loyal to Oklahoma City and do whatever he could to lead that team and bring a coveted title to the city. Yet here we are. I was dead wrong. I have no problem admitting that.
In my opinion, it’s unfair and shortsighted to condemn Kevin Durant for making this decision. The entire purpose of competition is to win. Anybody who says otherwise doesn’t know the first thing about winning. Kevin Durant wants nothing more than to win a championship. And he is now in a better position to do that than ever before. He has tried and tried again in OKC but to no avail. To automatically assume that next year would have been THE year for him and Westbrook and the Thunder is idiotic. Maybe it would have been, but you gotta believe he has been frustrated for years, coming so close. I remember watching him cry in his mother’s arms in the tunnel after the 2012 Finals. Kevin Durant wants to win a championship; since when is that not right?
People may never give him the credit he deserves now which is a damn shame. But people aren’t NBA players vying for a championship, they’re civilians who can’t knock down the almost-obsolete mid range jump shot. My point is that it’s unfair to criticize the man for putting himself in a better position to win a championship. Championships above all else, and if you disagree with that then you’re okay with normalcy, mediocrity, complacency, and second place. What happens if the Warriors rattle of three straight titles? That’s still an amazing feat, no? It would be a tragedy to see Durant not get his deserving credit if he wins a championship because of what team he’s on or who he’s playing with. In every sport we see superstars surrounded by a shitty supporting cast. And sometimes they stick it out and it still doesn’t work out. Sometimes they bring in new players to go for it. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. Other times they leave for a better team with better players. Not to say Westbrook+co. are a bad supporting cast, far from it, but to begrudge KD for going to a better team with aspirations of winning one/multiple championships is just petty to me. People always need something to complain about and somebody to point fingers at.
Warriors look scary on paper, no doubt. But there’s no guarantee that they’re going to mesh flawlessly from right away. Sometimes when you stick superstars together, it simply doesn’t work. They’re the favorites to win and rightfully so, but the haters handing them the trophy here in the first week of July don’t know how life and/or sports work. I would have loved to see Durant get it done with the Thunder. I believe in my heart of hearts that he wanted to also, but I can not and will not fault him for jettisoning out of town to Golden State. Since when is winning not enough?
Side note: I am not in the business of comparing one athlete’s career decisions to another. But I will say that LeBron left Cleveland for a stacked team and was hated for it. He won 2 titles and then he came back and everyone loves him again? What if the same thing happens with KD? All of y’all will probably love him if he wins in GS and comes back to OKC. Hypocrites. I’m also not in the business of putting a value on how good or bad a team was or is when a player left or showed up. If you want to say this is worse than LeBron’s ditch and switch, that’s fine. At least Durant didn’t hold a special on national TV for it.
And one more thing. To get on Durant for “contradicting” what he has said in the past is absurd. I bet if you ask him he’ll standby what he said. But people change as do situations. You could probably even find things that I’ve said in the past that I don’t agree with now despite being adamant about it in the past. But I’ll standby it. Doesn’t mean I was right or wrong if I can admit to a change of heart. KD may have said he wanted to stay in OKC forever or that stacking lineups is a bad look; easy to say as someone who was struggling to get to that next level (NBA champion).
I don’t really care for Durant either way. Hope he wins 10 straight in Golden State though because I want to watch the world burn.