LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and the Modern NBA Superteams
The Golden State Warriors are on the verge of another title thanks, in part, to LeBron James.
We can all be irrational at times, am I right? Often, it’s our devotion that can cause us to be that way — to act unreasonably. While it’s especially true in something like politics (don’t worry I won’t go there), we find it in other areas as well: tech, gaming, sports, etc. Coming across or interacting with someone being irrational is a part of life these days.
I’ve been coming across a lot of irrational people lately.
Today, I want to call out a particular group of people for their irrationality: LeBron James fans. Okay not all of them, because LeBron does have reasonable fans within his base, but some of his most ardent supports though, can be laughably hypocritical at times. That’s who this article is for.
There’s no greater example of their irrationality than them hating on Kevin Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City to go play for Golden State. Back in December, I wrote an article on how LeBron actually paved the way for KD to sign with the Warriors. I argued that he was just following the blueprint that LeBron laid out. That Durant saw LeBron win in Miami and receive all kinds of praise despite stacking his team with top-10 NBA players. KD saw that and realized that once you win a championship, it doesn’t matter how you did it, it only matters that you did it.
Now this is the part where the irrational LeBron fan says, “What Durant did was way worse!”
Oh, really? It was worse? Or was it just better?
If you think what KD did was worse, then you’re implying that what LeBron did was wrong as well — at least to a certain degree. So, I ask you LeBron fan, was what LeBron did in 2010 right or wrong?
If it was wrong, then yes, what Durant did was much worse. He went to an already established 73-win team coming off of a Game 7 Finals loss with superstars already intact instead of starting from scratch like the Heat did. That’s much worse.
But if LeBron was right to go to Miami and team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and there is no asterisk next to his titles in Miami, then what KD did last summer was just a better version of what LeBron did in 2010. Much better actually.
And if the Warriors do finish off the Cavs tonight in Cleveland, they’ll have accomplished what the Heat tried to do in 2011. We look back at that Heat team differently because they didn’t win a title in their first year together and only ended up winning two out of four. But make no mistake, we thought that Heat team was going to steamroll to a championship with ease — much like what Golden State is doing right now. We all thought this. LeBron certainly did. It’s why we hated that Heat team and it’s why there’s so much vocal disdain for the Warriors right now.
If you’re asking for my personal opinion on the matter, I didn’t like either move. Both guys were looking for an easy path to a title. I’m sad that we didn’t get another Golden State/Oklahoma City series. Last year’s was one of the greatest of all time. Durant going to the Warriors killed that, just like James robbed us of ever witnessing a LeBron/DWade seven game series. In both instances, it’s a shame.
But the moment LeBron won in 2012 (against KD no less) and nobody viewed it as a stain on his career, he opened the door for other stars to do the same. LeBron made it OK to team up with your rivals. If you’re a LeBron fan, you can’t hate on what KD did because your guy did the same thing.
The only difference? Durant did it *gasp* better.