What Some of My Smartest Basketball Think About the KD Trade
This move looks very bad on KD, but not for the reasons some might anticipate. Unlike most hoops fans, I think the point of free agency is for players to be able to pick their own destiny so I am in no way knocking KD’s decision to leave. I do find it appalling that he left this specific year and that he picked the Warriors. They’re the team that eliminated him a few weeks ago, and he is the main cause of what I consider an epic collapse. I still believe that Thunder team was better than the Warriors and had answers for virtually every lineup Kerr pulled out of his deck. The Dubs’ comeback was fueled by two very unlikely scenarios: Klay Thompson beating the playoff 3pt record and KD having a horrible 4th quarter, both on a pivotal game 6. 24 minutes of world class shooting by Klay and 6 minutes of subpar execution by the KD led offense were enough to offset the complete Thunder domination we witnessed for most of the series. In the grand scheme of things, KD did what people thought Lebron did with The Decision in 2010. With the Cavs, LBJ did not have a top 5 player as his sidekick, nor did he have a young core of talent whose stock was only going up. Cleveland didn’t lose because of him, they got far every year and overachieved thanks to his dominance. Most importantly, Lebron was not joining an all time great team with the two best shooters of all time, right after they beat him.
Kevin Durant is a free agent in 2016. This means that he doesn’t have any commitments to anyone but himself. He can make whatever decision he feels would be the best for him. Whatever decision he makes he no doubt what he feels to be right for him. Does Golden State give KD the best shot at winning a title? I think any small basketball mind could tell you: ABSOLUTELY. Here is my issue. KD has long been considered to be in the top 3 in the league. After his incredible MVP run in 2014, maybe even before, he was regarded as the premier scorer in the past decade if not more. In his free agency move, Kevin Durant decided to join the team that was 1 minute away from back-to-back championships, decided to join the two-time reigning MVP AND the first ever unanimous MVP the league has ever seen, decided to join the statistically most dominant regular season team ever, decided to join the same team that had the best odds to win the NBA title in 2017 championship after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers but WORST OF ALL decided to join the team that he lost to in 7 games after having a 3–1 lead. He has full right to make his decision but that doesn’t the ring he’s going to win in GS will hold any real value. What would the world say if Shaquille O’Neal had joined the Chicago Bulls in 1996 after getting swept in the eastern conference finals? What would we say about LeBron if he had joined the Celtics after the ’09 Cavs meltdown? KD did the best thing for his career, but definitely not a move that another all time great would do. I still love you KD, but I can’t root for you anymore. Side note: As a LeBron fan, it irks me that people have the audacity to compare KD going to the Warriors to LeBron going to Miami. LeBron gathered his buddy Chris Bosh and went to a 47 win miami. After they joined, they still managed only 58 wins. Not using the number to quantify anything but just trying put in perspective how good Miami was before and after they joined.