Why the Kevin Durant move is both good and bad for the NBA
Happy belated 4th of July to all My Fantasy Sports Talk followers. Monday might have been the day that we celebrate our Independence, stuffing our face with bbq, apple pie, watch baseball and light up the sky with fire works in the night. Well the real fireworks show was provided by Kevin Durant yesterday as he made shock waves across the nation when he announced in the Players Tribune that he would be taking his talents the Bay Area. Okay okay he didn’t actually say that, but you get the point. It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this– tsk tsk Lebron James, but I almost choked on my ball park dog after getting that text alert. It’s just one of those things that you refuse to believe until you see it, and well folks– we saw it. So besides that intro let’s go ahead and dive into if it was good for the NBA or bad, and why.
I wanted to let this digest before I overreact like most people did when the news broke. I listened to many opinions from fans, analysts, and compared them to my own. I truly believe it’s both good and bad depending on how you view it. Obviously if you’re a Warriors fan you’re hopping on one foot, and have already pre-ordered your fresh, crisp Durant jersey. For the rest of us who lost out on the Durant sweepstakes– well we have to move forward, and have to hope for the best with the moves that the teams we root for make. I think it’s bad because at least for now Golden State is going to feel pressure throughout the season to at least win 74 games. I mean am I wrong? Am I crazy to say they can win 81? They went 73-9 last season and were 1-game away from back-to-back championships. Now that they have Durant all their problems are solved right? They go 82-0 and 14-2 in the playoffs winning it all. WRONG! I think moving Festus Ezeli will hurt them. You can have Durant stand in front of the rim with his hands in the air, and most people will say “well hey KD can play Center” but he’s not going to. Moving Andrew Bogut was also another sacrifice GS had to do in order to make some space for KD. Will they score 200 points a game? I mean honestly I don’t know. I want to say no, but looking at the starting five on paper I’m going to bite my tongue at the moment.
David West announced today that he well be joining GS on a one-year vets minimum deal, so that helps with their center problems. With the team being as stacked as it is, I think GS clearly has to win it all this year or next year to not be one of the possibly greatest teams ever formed and not win it all. I don’t think Golden State has the margin for error either to lose 9-8 games maximum either. It’s very possible I know that, but I think defensively they took a hit in a way, and getting used to KD in the lineup will take time early on. Who knows maybe KD ends up selling more Aunt Pearls they Curry’s hospital shoes, and one day Curry doesn’t allow KD to get a shot in. All jokes aside this is a scary team going forward, and compared to last year when the league had at least 5 true contenders for a championship Spurs, Clippers, Warriors, Cavs, Thunder clearly it’s only two teams with the rest of the league playing catch up.
There are many other reason why I think it’s bad, but I’m going to jump into why it’s good. Oracle Arena may now be known as the “Evil Empire” and KD will be looked at as a sell out, and traitor. I think we’re being way too simplistic on why KD should’ve stayed in OKC. I don’t think he wants to be Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing etc when his career is over. He pretty much locked in a Finals appearance or two at the moment, and that means huge ratings for the NBA. When Lebron joined forces with the Heat back in 2010, Miami drew massive ratings. People either wanted to see this dynasty be successful, or watch the team self destruct, clearly it’s a no brainer that it will be the same for GS going forward. I think in this case, Stephen Curry or Durant can miss an extended amount of time due to injury, and the Warriors will still remain a true championship material team. Looking at it as a casual basketball fan I think Durant is a great fit for that offense, I’m definitely going to be watching them as the season unfolds even if it means I have to suck it up and watch them drop 150 points on my Spurs. In the big picture I think 25 plus years from now I think we’re going to look at this completely different when we look at KD’s legacy. I think we’re going to see it as normal, as I think this trend will only continue especially with the new NBA salary cap as more players will continue to hop onto winning teams to try to win championships.
My last thoughts– superstars run the league, superstars win titles and Kevin Durant made the best basketball decision he could have made. He didn’t wait and put his trust in Sam Presti, he went on and became his own GM to take the easier rout to winning a championship rather than waiting. What makes me not okay is that it was the Warriors. He was one game away from his second Finals appearance, and possibly could’ve gotten his first ring, as it would’ve been interesting to see how the dynamic duo of him and Westbrook would’ve matched up against Cleveland. After letting it soak in I’m fine with this move, and will be watching the Warriors just like everybody else. For the people of OKC who’ve known Durant for the whole time they’ve had a team I feel for them. As they once had a trio with KD, Russ and Harden to KD and Russ and got nothing out of it championship wise. Now we wait and see what happens with Westbrook.