Let’s make one thing clear. Kevin Durant wakes up on the morning of June 13, 2017 as a bona fide champion. Already a proven all star and future hall of famer, Durant will feel the heat of the pundit community with the constant hot topic of joining the Warriors as a free agent. Regardless of any wavering support for one of the top five talents in the history of the NBA, Kevin Durant will walk around for the rest of his life with something that 99-plus percent of the human population won’t and that is a professional sports title. After averaging over 35 points against the 2016 champion Cleveland Cavaliers the entire basketball world would agree that Durant held his own against Lebron James. Whatever you want to call Kevin Durant post 2017 NBA season, make sure you put World Champion in front of it.
Like all great champions of the past, there will be an asterisk by Kevin Durant’s name. It’s now common knowledge that he joined a super team that is best described by Lebron James as having the most firepower ever on an NBA franchise. Just think about it. Across every sport the majority of champions seem to get a “yes he won but…” and in a microwave narcissistic society such as the one we live in, you have to wonder if there is indeed a single champion without spot. We have found a way to criticize Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Tom Brady and numerous others. And if you haven’t heard some of the more familiar lines gracing these historic sports stars here are some of the better ones:
“Yeah Jordan won six titles but he didn’t win anything before Pippen arrived.”- anonymous pundit
“Tom Brady would not be Tom Brady if Bill Belichick left New England.”- anonymous talking head
“Joe Montana was surrounded by a bunch of hall of famers not to mention he was in a flawless system set up by a hall of fame coach.”- anonymous football expert
Now we have Kevin Durant who may win several more NBA titles but will have to walk around with the infamous “he won…but” asterisk next to his name. I’m sure he won’t care. Think about the massive amounts of frustration that he has had to face including being ahead 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference finals. His former OKC Thunder team would eventually drop the series to his current Golden State Warrior team. It is far too cliche to say if you can’t beat them join them but that is exactly what Durant did and no one can blame him. He saw a force that could not be taken down due to their age, their offensive prowess, and their front office management. In other words Kevin Durant knew he had two options after the summer of 2016. Spend the next five years of his career running through a hamster wheel of championship-less success or join up with a squad that was equipped to win three to four more titles. Side note. Location probably played a big hand in this because we all know that sunny California provides a much better life for a professional athlete than Oklahoma. No offense to Oklahomians. So it is easy to see why a star player would choose to bring his multitude of talents to an already loaded team. Durant’s goal at this point in his career is to win championships. It is not to put on a show for the NBA fan collective.
In the end most of the people criticizing Kevin Durant will wake up and walk into lives that are laden with asterisks. There will be a roundtable of pundits, talking heads, and so called experts that will forever criticize the most talented Golden State Warrior for joining a super power team. The simple conclusion to Durant joining the Warriors is that he came, he saw, and he conquered. And the best part about this is that he just got started. Love it or hate it but in the end….it is what it is.