The Sportz Nutt Talks About Why Durant Left OKC

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Kevin Durant is set to leave the Oklahoma Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors in the biggest free agent coup since LeBron went to Miami. The world is up in arms because of this. They can’t believe that a superstar like this would leave what he has built for so long as they are on the edge of winning it all. Financially speaking, he could have actually made more money had he stayed where he was too. So why did he go?

Turns out he really didn’t like playing with Westbrook after all. Despite being buddy buddy, mocking Steph Curry in the playoffs, and hanging out, they really didn’t get along on the court. Westbrook is not a pass first PG, and, on a team that has Durant, he probably could and should have been. Rather it was have Westbrook drive has far into the lane as he could, try a shot or kick it out to Durant and see if he could do something. The defense was lacking in Oklahoma too, despite their late season push. And, after having explored all of his options, he chose the team that did beat him and was oh so close to a title, and will probably be celebrating next June. As a Clippers fan, I hate it, because it gives the Western Conference not much to play for besides second place. So why the uproar?

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People have been saying that he took the easy way out. His legacy will be diminished. He only did it to win. He’s a traitor. Really? This coming from the people who believe a player’s true talents are displayed not with season long numbers, but post season wins and titles, that’s who. The media and the fan base claims that Bill Russell is on the Mount Rushmore of basketball because he has double digit titles. Michael Jordan is amazing because he won 6 titles. Why not Durant? First off, he has averaged over 27 PPG and 7 RPG in 9 season of relatively healthy basketball…..all the while showing no signs of letting up. He keeps this up in Oklahoma and he could be on Mount Rushmore (stats alone) when it’s all said and done. However, this notion that all players need a title to justify their greatness hurts him, because one could make the argument they would never win. I mean, only one team a year wins it, so who’s to say if he hasn’t won it yet that he would. That’s all speculative. So, the media says he needs one and goes out and (probably) gets one with the Warriors. Now it won’t count because it’s not in the right context? It was too easy? He shouldn’t have done it? Please. That’s just hating for hates sake. These super teams are the new norm because of the salary cap era. Players get together to play on a team and fill out the rest of the roster with underpaid veterans or rookies to add depth. You don’t want this, then go back to the non salary cap era where Jordan won 6 or Russell won his. But then you get dynasties and decade long dominance, and there are those that complain about that. Look, Durant went out and made a basketball decision that’s best for him. He put himself in that position because of hard work and timing. Good for him. Bad for us who aren’t Warriors fans.

Now is it over for the rest of the NBA? Not quite yet. Look at what happened in the NBA Finals when the Cavaliers got physical. Curry had no idea how to handle it, Thompson was missing his shots and Green lost his cool. Adding Durant sure as hell helps, and could alleviate some of that pressure, but he doesn’t like to get physical either, and looked flustered when the series went to 3-1. They also don’t have the depth that they once had, with Barnes, Bogut and Ezeli all gone. They had career years from Livingston and Speights, and are relying on once or soon to be retired guys in West and O’Neal. So they do have their holes, but these are prospective holes.

I honestly see them winning it all, and MAYBE beating last year’s record, but they may rest up some players more often than not. That said, even with one of the Fantastic Four out, they’re still better than most teams.

And there you have it.