A message to everyone hating on Kevin Durant’s move to the Warriors
People love to hate. They just can’t be happy unless their mad about something.
They ruminate all day about the guy who cut them off that morning, letting the anger cultivate further anger, it turns to ire and then they yell at the Barista at Starbucks for something as inane as forgetting that third pump in their soy vanilla latte.
So much of real life is reflected in sports. It’s what makes sports so popular and here we are, an eighth into the NBA season and there are people en masse, torches in hand, ready to burn down the Golden State Warriors.
The angry mob was there before the season too, but the human drama of the ex’s meeting so early in the season — Durant and Westbrook — has brought out the passionate bile spitting hate towards the team that’s “supposed” to win it all.
It’s the good guys versus the bad guys, the Warriors playing the lead villain, Kevin Durant the sycophant and Westbrook the guy who stayed behind to fight it to the death. It’s a blockbuster movie and a simple plot for everyone to follow along with.
Durant went to the dark side. The dark side is the easy route. Winning the hard way is the good guy way, the tough way, the long way and the way that people like to see — just ask Luke Skywalker.
Here’s the top three sentences that keep popping up about this Golden State Warriors team:
“Durant just went to Golden State so he could win a ring.”
Durant has been getting railed against since he made his decision to leave. As an athlete, if you never win a ring there is always an asterisk next to your name — always the footnote no matter what level of greatness you have achieved.
There is a lot of pressure to win from the fan base and there is a lot of pressure inside the heads of these athletes to win, too. They wouldn’t be where they are without an over-passionate, borderline obsessive urge to be the winner. It’s so strong that it’s hard for a non-athlete to understand it.
Yes, Kevin Durant probably joined the Warriors so it would be easier for him to get a championship, but so what?
He certainly wouldn’t be the first person to try and make their job easier or change jobs to one that might be in the same industry, but with a more fun company in a bigger city. Success is never guaranteed anywhere you go, it’s just that some places make it a little easier.
“Why watch the NBA this season? It’s just going to be the same two teams in the finals again?”
This is a common thread that can only come from people who have never watched an NBA game. The NBA has had teams take over for decades since the Minnesota Lakers back in the 1950’s.
From 1960 to 1969, the Boston Celtics were in 9 championship games. In the 1980’s, the Los Angeles Lakers were in 8 and Boston in 5. In the 1990’s, the Chicago Bulls were in 6.
The 2000’s saw the Lakers in 6 and recently we had the Miami Heat go to 4 in a row. Now, Golden State is rounding out the decade.
The NBA has always seen its share of dynasty teams. Every decade has had its dominator. This is the reason a lot of NBA fans watch; they want to witness the greatness of a team that will be talked about for decades.
That 1960’s Celtics’ team was anchored by the great Bill Russel. His name still casually dances across the screen for stats or is mentioned by an analyst as if he retired only minutes ago. NBA fans don’t just want an exciting season, they want an exciting decade.
“The players collude to make super teams so they can win now.”
It is true, free agency has changed the way we look at the game. The players have a little more control over their tenures in certain cities and have some more power when it comes to the projection of their career. However, before the players had the ability to do it, the owners of the teams already did.
The Lakers got Jabbar from the Bucks to help build that 80’s monster. Jordan’s Bulls got Rodman at a crucial time after Grant left. Players may not have had much of the option, but teams acquired key players at crucial times to keep their “Big 3” rolling. Whether the players are building the team, or the owners, it hasn’t affected the game; teams are still winning in clumps.
It’s how the NBA works.
It seems that most people who say these things can’t be NBA fans. They may be sports fans and they probably watch a fair amount of the Finals games, but for the most part they are NFL fans who watch the NCAA Men’s Tournament.
True NBA fans rarely utter sentences like the previous ones highlighted. The Golden State Warriors are not ruining basketball; they are the next super team in a sixty year history of a sport that has seen so many other teams like this. The many nuances, differences, close games, incredible highlights, drama and lineup changes are why we watch.
We watch because we love basketball, so put down your torches and relax.
The Warriors aren’t going anywhere.