By: Monte Perez
He can’t win it on his own.
He has no heart.
He is not a leader.
His legacy is ruined.
He is a coward!
These were all the things that were said about LeBron James when he made “The Decision” at the end of the 2009-2010 season. James went on National TV and announced he would take his talents to South Beach and play for Miami. At the time, I said it was the right move for James and it was. He went to four straight finals with the Heat, winning two championships. The same is going to be said now of Kevin Durant. The Former Texas Longhorn announced on the “Players Tribune” that he will be leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors next season. The “Dubs” as they are known throughout their fan base, just added a 4 time scoring champion to a team that went 73-9 in the regular season.
If I was in KD’s shoes, I would have signed with the San Antonio Spurs, but I can’t question his decision. Life is about surrounding yourself with successful people. Durant has played 9 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder and they only got to 1 NBA Finals during that time. (In 2012, they were beaten by James and the Miami Heat in 5 games.) Durant owes nothing to the Thunder. With OKC, KD was a 7 time all-star, a 4x scoring champion and won the MVP in 2014.
90% of the media, fans and so called “critics” are going to ridicule this decision but it is the right move at the right time. Instead of criticizing Durant, I have to question every team in the NBA for not signing him. The so called “Traditional Powerhouses” like the Knicks, the Bulls and the Lakers didn’t even get a sit down interview with him. The Golden State Warriors are smarter than everyone else. This is how you build a successful franchise in the NBA. You draft quality young players like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and add a big time free agent in Durant.
What the Warriors have done is put together, arguably the best player at every position, other than center. But as we have seen, everyone goes “small ball” in the 4th quarter so you don’t need a “Big-Man” to win a championship. Here are their stats from last year:
PG: Stephen Curry- 30 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists 90% FT shooting, 45% from three
SG: Klay Thompson- 22 points, 87% FT shooting, 42% from three
SF: Kevin Durant-28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 50.5% from the floor, 89% FT shooting.
PF Draymond Green: 15.5 points,9.9 rebounds, 6.0 assists.
You can say that each one of these players is the best at their position right now, and here is the scariest part, none of them are in their prime yet. Late in games, you can’t foul this team because Curry, Durant and Thompson all shoot over 85% from the free throw line. Fans aren’t going to like it but Durant made the right move. He will be the #1 option on a team that already has three number 1 options. The “haters” will say that Durant is “buying a championship” No he isn’t, when you get to the NBA Finals, you have earned it. Head coach, Steve Kerr, enjoy your off-season because the Warriors could win another 70 games next year. We may be looking a 5 year championship run.
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