The Trump Durant Connection: Gut Punches of 2016

The past year feels like one cosmic/karmic gut punch after the other. It’s worn on me.

It’s to the point now where the news of Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending injury — a development that would have otherwise sent me headlong into a pit of despair — barely registers a shrug of disappointment.

When did it all begin? I think I know.

It began on the 4th of July, when Kevin Durant spurned the Thunder (and the Celtics!) and signed with the Golden State Warriors. This event set the tone: It’s every man for himself. There is no loyalty. No decorum. No sense of personal responsibility for the greater good, the greater competitive landscape, the greater entertainment value of the NBA.

The rich get richer. The Warriors already had the most fun player in Stephen Curry. They already set the record for regular season wins. They came within one game of a second NBA Championship. And yet, it wasn’t enough. And just like that, they go from scrappy heroes to super villains in the course of an afternoon. Now I’m rooting for LeBron James — LEBRON JAMES — as the underdog. This is the world we now inhabit.

Durant’s “Decision” may have had less fanfare, but it was considerably more diabolical than LeBron’s. Miami wanted to put together a winning roster. Golden State already had the winningest roster in the history of the game. It would be like Karl Malone ditching John Stockton to join the Chicago Bulls in the 90’s.

In the 90’s such a thing would be unthinkable. As unthinkable, say, as a crass, blithering, fraudulent mogul of decrepit casinos becoming President of the United States. But again, this is the world we now inhabit.

“Who can blame him?” they said of Durant. “He’s doing what’s best for him.” Indeed, who can blame anyone for anything anymore? As long as it’s in the best interest of yourself, your country, your bank account. Like I said, it’s every man for himself. If KD could do it, why can’t America? Trump is here. We are going to DOMINATE.

Did Kevin Durant’s decision to go to Golden State lead directly to the election of Donald Trump? It’s hard to say, but almost definitely yes.

We’re all Golden State Warriors now, members of the most dominant team in the game. And maybe we’ll do great. Maybe we’ll win the World Championship. But what have we sacrificed along the way? Our fight. Our scrappiness. Our sense of drama. When we adopt a win-at-all-costs mentality, does the victory taste as sweet?

Or do Kawhi Leonard and the Spurs knock us out in the second round, exposing our hubris for the world to see?

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