How KD’s Choice Changed the NBA
Kevin Durant shocked the world on July 4th when he decided to take his talents to the Golden State Warriors. It’s not exactly known why Durant decided to leave a title contending situation with the Oklahoma City Thunder (who also improved by signing Oladipo), but some seem to think his relationship with Westbrook played a key role in the decision.
Some will question Durant’s character and competitive drive, but at the end of the day he made the decision that will put him in the best situation to win a championship — and you can’t blame him for that. After Durant’s decision, the jersey burning began right on queue.
The cap increase was implemented to allow the smaller market teams to become more competitive, not help the great teams become even more stacked. Then again, big market teams like the Knicks, Lakers and Celtics have struggled in recent years — making the situation very interesting. The cap increase certainly wasn’t intended to allow something like this to happen, but it is all said and done. The most winning regular season team in NBA history just got a whole lot better. Either way, thanks to Kevin Durant the NBA has a new villain.
Prior to losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2015–2016 Golden State Warriors were in contention to be the greatest team in NBA history. To say they upgraded in talent at the small forward position would be an understatement. Harrison Barnes was a quality role player, but by no means is he Kevin Durant. Durant is a former MVP, and was named to the All-NBA 1st Team in five separate seasons. The Warriors now have arguably the three best shooters in the NBA, which is a scary thought. As if they didn’t have enough shooters, news just broke out that the Warriors are interested in signing Ray Allen.
While losing Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli hurts, it is a small price to pay to bring in a top 5 NBA player in Kevin Durant. The recent acquisitions of David West and Zaza Pachulia will help replace that hole as well. With Durant coming to Golden State, some worried that Golden State’s depth and bench play would go downhill; however, that’s not the case. They still have Iggy, Livingston, and now West/Pachulia.
Durant’s departure from Golden State also disrupts the competitive balance in the NBA. This move means there will be one less team (Oklahoma City) legitimately competing for an NBA Championship next season. While on paper this super team that the Warriors created seems unstoppable, you can never count out the San Antonio Spurs, who also just signed Pau Gasol.
As of now, we know that Durant made the best basketball decision for himself, and that’s exactly what he said he would do. He could care less what people think, as long as he finally get himself a ring (or 2, or 3). But, there will be immense pressure on Durant and the Warriors this upcoming season to win the NBA Championship, as they are now the CLEAR favorites. If they lose, it will be a shocking disappoinment.
Most teams in the NBA strive for a “Big 3.” The Golden State Warriors have one-upped everyone else by creating a “Big 4” — Durant, Curry, Thompson, Draymond — all of whom made an All-NBA Team last season. Durant, Curry, and Thompson all have the ability to go for 40+ points on any given night, which could be a nightmare for opposing defenses. To make matters even better for the Warriors, Lil B lifted the curse on Kevin Durant, meaning he is officially allowed to win a championship.
There is no guarantee the addition of Durant will secure multiple titles. One thing is certain though — adding Durant solidifies the 2016–2017 Golden State Warriors as the greatest 2K team ever.