The fact that Kevin Durant decided to make his ultimate decision on July 4th may have been symbolism that we so happened to overlook. After whining and dining with several teams, Kevin Durant has chosen to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. He joins the Golden State Warriors on a two-year, $54 million contract with a second-year player option.
It’s hard to imagine a 73 win team getting better. Kevin Durant adds win. He made the Warriors the clear favorite to win the NBA Championship in 2017. Durant will fit right into the Warriors’ small ball lineups and may even have more spacing as crazy as that sounds. This will be a new chapter for not only Durant and the Warriors but for the NBA in general.
Durant will join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to make the fantastic four. Since this is the free agency period, seeing new faces in new places is not abnormal. But since Durant is a superstar and is leaving for a team that he didn’t beat, it may seem like he’s piggy backing. However, more superstars are joining each other to make super teams just because money is not an issue and they do it to win.
LeBron James made a similar choice back in 2010 and the backlash was of great proportions.
Although it was tough for Durant, he left Oklahoma City to win a championship. Isn’t that what every player inspires to do professionally? In today’s NBA landscape it’s becoming harder for players to stay with the same team that drafted them, let alone bring home a championship.
Players are not looking to suffer losing season after losing season. Nor, as in Durant’s case, collecting seasons of coming up just short. Players are in win now mode. Part of the problem is because the scrutiny they receive year after year. They know that when superstars are debated, it will be brought up that Championships shape their legacy.
Times are changing in the NBA. Rivalries are not as deep as they once were. So, lets appreciate some of these “super” teams being established and maybe some new bitter rivalries will form.