This message is for all of the disgruntled NBA fans who are critical of Kevin Durant and his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent: Get over it!
You can’t be mad at KD; he’s just taking advantage of the system that is in play. He’s just the face of your true disdain, which is the current CBA that was signed off by both the NBA franchise owners and the National Basketball Players Association. In short, don’t hate the player; hate the game.
The great Brooklyn emcee Jay-Z once said on his hit record “On to the next one,” “…n-words want my old ish, buy my old album.” So if you’re butt hurt about Durant leaving OKC, watch his old Thunder highlights on youtube and don’t burn his jersey (Speaking of which, from LeBron James leaving Cleveland in 2010 to KD in 2016, what’s up with fans burning jerseys? Maybe I’m too immersed in the current news where all we see is examples of social injustices and a racist climate but to me that’s eerily similar to when the KKK used to burn crosses to instill fear in potential victims-but that’s a topic for another day. I digress). Wrap your mind around these types of business transactions/deals and let it marinate- this is the New NBA.
Everybody is criticizing Durant for jumping Oklahoma’s ship to the apparent greener pastures in Oakland, but when you’re a player of Durant’s magnitude, the rules are different. And I’m not referring to the rules detailed in the aforementioned Collective Bargaining Agreement, I’m speaking of the unwritten rules of great NBA players.
When you’re dubbed as an elite, great player, the pressure to win an NBA championship is abundant. History has shown us that players who pledge their loyalty in playing for one team their whole career sans a title aren’t revered as much as they are criticized for not getting the job done- John Stockton and Reggie Miller taught us that. Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone figured that out as well but by the time they did, when they moved on to different teams chasing teams, it was too late; their skills had eroded and they were shells of their former selves.
We saw LeBron James faced with this dilemma 6 years ago. When he decided to take his talents to South Beach on live television, he was thrown to the wolves for the way he announced his departure. But LeBron knew if he truly wanted to be considered one of the NBA’s all-time greats, becoming a champion was imperative. Fast forward to Durant’s announcement via “The Player’s Tribune.” Compared to “The Decision” that was a low-key platform to disclose his professional future plans and fans still crucified him. You’re either damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
That’s why I’m glad Durant, as sensitive as he is to public opinion, took his future in his hands and went where he felt he could thrive and ultimately win a chip. KD figured out you can’t make decisions to please people, because he’s the one that has to live with said decisions. Who cares Golden State was a great team before his arrival? They were defeated by the Cavaliers and definitely and definitely looked like they needed another dimension or “take-over” type player in the 2016 Finals. Magic, Mike, LeBron or Kobe couldn’t do it on their own, why should KD?
Durant knows that when his career is over, he won’t be judged by the amount of points he scored or the All-Star games he played, but how many rings he won. And if he finishes his with 2, 3 or even 1 ring, no one is going to remember how he got it, just that he got it.