Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a big NBA guy. I love college basketball and as an extension, love seeing the progression in the NBA of some of the guys I watched in college, but that’s where my serious interest wanes. This weekend’s Kevin Durant sweepstakes peaked my interest for two reasons: a) I have a vested interest in the success of Boston professional sports teams and b) Durant was so much fun to watch his freshman year at Texas. Durant’s choice to sign with the Golden State Warriors however, may turn him into a much less likable player.
Throughout his NBA career, Durant has developed a reputation as a good, stand-up guy. He is known as a fan friendly guy who gives back to the community. Besides some weed falling out of his car in 2015, he hasn’t been in the public spotlight for much other than his play on the court. In 9 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant has amassed 17, 566 points (averaging 27.4 pts/game) and become a top 5 player in the league. His free agency garnered much attention and certainly got C’s fans around here giddy at the possibility of him coming to Boston. As a casual-ish fan, I would have certainly had a much greater interest in the C’s next season with Durant wearing green.
It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career. – Durant in The Players’ Tribune
On the flip side, when Durant announced he was signing with the Warriors, the public reaction was mixed. Obviously Thunder fans were the most broken up because they were losing a superstar and C’s fans were unhappy because the team just missed out on a franchise player (if you believe the C’s had a legitimate shot at signing Durant, which I do). By joining a team that won 73 games last season and was within minutes of winning the championship, Durant dropped in likability almost instantly. I appreciate his wanting to win now, but to join an already dominant team and create essentially a ridiculous super team doesn’t feel right.
I’m sure Durant will be successful in OKC and they will certainly be the far and away favorites to win the title next year, but what happens to the other 29 NBA franchises whose chances of winning just plummeted?