This story is strictly my opinions on Kevin Durant signing with Golden State and what’ll mean for his legacy.
I remember watching Durant in his one year at Texas. What sticks out to me is the rapid improvement he made when conference play started in January compared to the first few times I saw him in the 2006-2007 season. He just started dominating and the big12 that season was filled with quality veteran defensive teams. At this moment,overall I think from then to now, it might have been the deepest the conference has been. So then he goes to Seattle and is there for a season before the team
was relocated to Oklahoma City. Which is a story unto itself. That story can be told from multiple perspectives! I guess so can this one. So I assume everyone knows about K.D in OKC. He and fellow teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden first made the playoffs in 2010. Facing the World champion and eventual back to back champion L.A Lakers. They played out of their minds taking the Lakers to 6 games before finally succumbing to the champs. It was an amazing first playoff appearance by a team with basically nothing but youth. Kevin Durant was the unquestioned catalyst of this now proclaimed up and coming team in the western conference.So they reached their personal pinnacle in 2012. Winning the Western Conference.In the finals K.D would have his first Finals encounter with contemporary superstar and media proclaimed fellow player of a generation Lebron James. When the dust settled on the 2012 NBA finals, the Miami Heat walked away champions. Giving Lebron James his first championship and Finals MVP award! It only took the Heat 5 games to stop the storm that was the Thunder. Although it was a close competitive series, I knew it wouldn’t be close, OKC was just too young. Everyone from fans to analysts thought like the Orlando Magic of the mid 90s,that there time was on the horizon, and it would be sooner rather than later. The fans could feel it, I could feel it through them on television.Those Oklahoma fans they know something about sooner, and the Thunder were about to roar. So first they trade James Harden, then you start to hear
Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant couldn’t stand to be around one another. They denied it every chance they got. Even after Kevin left. At the following years all star game after jabs at each other were exchanged, they acted like best buds. Which to anyone watching obviously was fake, no one goes out of their way on camera to act friendly like that!So between 2013-2015, OKC didn’t go back to the finals. Losing in the west semis and west finals respectively. Then because Durant only playing 27 games in 2015, they didn’t even make the playoffs! Now in the 2016 playoffs they were up 3 games to 1 against the defending champion and record setting 73 win Golden State Warriors. They would lose the series in 7 games. The player who K.D had been compared with for half a decade. The same player who defeated him in his only Finals appearance, Lebron James. Two years after returning to Cleveland, would go and lead the Cavs
the only team ever to come back down 3-1 in the finals, to the first major sporting championship since the Browns of 1964. Now his rival, the one he would always be compared, Lebron James, arguably while winning his third title and Finals MVP award, also has just played out the most significant moments of his historic career! He came back down 3-1, never done in history. Defeated the defending champion. The record setting 73 win unbeatable defending champion! Won in Cleveland, a city starving for a title! Then pretty much apologized for leaving in the first place. A Michael Jordan type of moment, the one Lebron needed to solidify his legacy to any doubters still speaking I’ll of him. All that would be heard from there on in was CLEEEVVeLLLAAANND!
So what now for Kevin Durant? He was a free agent. No one would have blamed him for leaving OKC, not outside their fanbase atleast! What he did as everyone knows is sign with the same 73 win Warriors team I just talked about. It was in my opinion the dumbest move any star ever made! No matter how many championships he won, and everybody knew the Warriors not only would win but by adding one of the 3 best basketball players in the world, to the best team, they couldn’t lose! In a sport where how you win and how much you win is vital for a player’s legacy! It’s what ranks and separates the stars of the past, and gives insight to the present and future stars of the game on what is expected to achieve historic greatness! Pretty much, it comes down to the NBA and all it’s past, saying “How good are you young man, show me, I’m the NBA, let’s see how good you really are. Where will you stand, amongst the greatest when I say your career’s over!” In 1989 and 1990, Michael Jordan was defeated in the conference finals by
the three time East champ and back to back NBA champion Bad Boy Pistons. Who used what they called the Jordan Rules to beat Chicago. In both of those years especially 1990, Jordan was hounded by the media, no scoring champ can lead his team to a title! All he does is score. He was down and frustrated because of this! He worked his ass off! His game and his body, he worked picturing Chicago beating the Pistons.
Then in 1991 he did it, a sweep. Now does anyone think Jordan at any point thought about joining the Pistons? I mean if he was forced to, he probably would have quit first! What Kevin Durant did by joining the Warriors is like turning on a video game, going to the options menu and setting the difficulty to easy! The history of the NBA will never recognize him in the same breath as the other greats. As time goes on, respected pundits of the game will give him less and less credit. In my opinion, it is well deserved!
What he did should not be compared to Lebron going to Miami. When he left forMiami he joined a team, that either didn’t make the playoffs or made a 1st roundexit! I didn’t condone Lebron’s decision when it was happening, and he since madeup for it. That Cavalier ring is going to go farther to cement his legacy than eitherone from Miami. Let’s get it straight Lebron going to a maybe playoff team in theat the time, weaker conference has no comparison at all to what Kevin Durant did!
If I could tell one thing to Kevin Durant, it would be the term IF YOU CAN’T BEAT EM JOIN THEM, is not to be taken literally. It is meant figuratively! No matter how much he wins in Oakland, it will never count the same as the other great champions. Their will be a figurative asterisk to whatever he accomplishes! If you ask me there should be an actual asterisk. Like how in the Final Destination movies, you can’t cheat death.Well Mr. Durant same applies to the historical records of the NBA, and the players honored within it’s pantheon. It and they will not be cheated. You will not go downin the same breath as them! Don’t care how many rings you acquire, let’s use Dirk as an example, his ring will mean more than all yours in Golden State combined! What you did barely means more than if you bought a ring off a retired player!