======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ==== ======= ======= ====== ====== ====== ===== ==== ====== ====== ===== ====
Yesterday, in the middle of another work day so abhorrent I spent half the afternoon in the bathroom with supposed “diarrhea,” my pretend dysentery reading left me more disappointed than Dan after last night’s soccer game.
I’m talking, of course, about the wiry Oklahoma City “superstar” who’s never won anything since middle school not named Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant, the consolation prize the year of the Greg Oden sweepstakes, has earned some relatively impressive individual honors in his nine NBA seasons.
For instance, KD is a former MVP, scoring champion, seven time All-Star, multiple time All-NBA (varying levels), and is considered the biggest obtainable free agent this offseason (LeBron is a free agent as well but there’s no way he “Decisions” himself again).
I’ve never really had a problem with Durant. Sure, the Thunder collapse in the 4th quarter, but he has seemed like a nice enough guy with obvious skills and a level of arrogance acceptable for a person of his immense wealth, accomplishments, and physical abilities.
Until now. Reading the Golden State Warriors are his “preferred destination this offseason” had me quivering like the a.m. discovery of last night’s blown out rubber. Really, KD? You’re so desperate for the imagined validation of a championship, and apparently at age 27 resigned to the fact you are not a player capable of winning with a roster featuring Westbrook, Kanter, Ibaka, Adams, Waiters, and plenty of cap space, that you have to get “I’m not a hooker, just a dancer” level desperate?
The Warriors were four points and the greatest LeBron performance ever from back-to-back championships. This is an absolute no-win situation. If KD goes to Golden State and they inevitably win a title (the lineup of Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green, Bogut, might be the best five in NBA history), obviously the prevailing sentiment will be “Yeah? So?”
But, if somehow they don’t, if Durant’s ball dominance gums up the gears of the Warriors motion offense, if the total lack of physicality of every player on the roster (especially Durant) not named Draymond kills them on the glass, or if James once again single-handedly provides salvation to the city of Cleveland like he was a water purification center in Angola, then what?
It will be Durant’s turn. His turn to hear how a team cannot win with Kevin Durant. “The Warriors were better before.” “He is not a closer.” “He is not clutch” In fairness, we already know this. “Durant ruined the Warriors.” “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but signing Kevin Durant was a mistake in the Bay.”
So where is the upside to any of this? The competition? The confidence in his own abilities and stature as an NBA superstar? I feel like I’m watching the early stages of a complete meltdown, like if someone could have said to Lindsey Lohan in a suite at the Chateau Marmont, mid blow bang of course, “Hey, maybe you should hike your panties up, close your mouth, and go home.” Maybe then this all could have been avoided. Maybe the avalanche doesn’t have to make it all the way down the mountain.
Kevin Durant is a likable enough guy. I don’t know who he has representing him or who’s in his inner circle, but if they’re advocating third-wheeling it in Golden State, I respect their opinion about as much as I do ISIS. There is nothing marketable about becoming the villain, the scapegoat of a would-be champion, the tagalong on the Warriors already-completed championship drive.
There is NOTHING about winning a title with a team that has come one Irving three from back-to-back championships that will enhance Durant’s legacy. Be a man, Kevin. Don’t be like me, the anonymous freelance writer that calls out people without any chance of repercussions.
If Kevin Durant becomes a Golden State Warrior, I’ll have to steal a line from essentially every woman I have ever dated: “You’re dead to me, asshole.”.
UPDATE: July 4, 2016, 11:26 a.m. CST
Image via YouTube