NBA Free Agency: Kevin Durant Chooses Golden State Warriors Over Everyone Else
In a somewhat predictable turn of events last week, Kevin Durant chose to leave Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors. In a similarly predictable fashion, his name was made feculent in Oklahoma and elsewhere, his jersey burned while cell phones digitally captured the images and hastily posted them over social media.
Kevin seemed unperturbed as his name was officially announced by the opulent group that owns the Warriors. There were smiles and handshakes and the flash bulbs of professional photographers, a gaggle of reporters all waiting to ask the same inane questions and get the same redundant responses.
Kevin, fairly or unfairly, drew numerous comparisons to LeBron James over the weekend. Twitter was ablaze with ostentatious remarks with his name tagged to them, hoping to illicit a response, dying to throw sticks and stones at a 27 year old millionaire basketball player for defying their wishes. “You should have stayed and tried to win a championship here!” they gasped. The ultimate betrayal to fandom splayed onto the front page of every newspaper and website.
He left seeking something different, something that may include a ring and a banner, he left “them” and that seems like a debilitating break up with a first love.
According to the Pew Research Center in a study conducted in 2010, 37% of adults never leave their hometown. Another 20% never leave the state they grew up in. That’s a total of 57% of people who stay pretty close to home. Kevin grew up in DC, went to college in Texas, was drafted to the now defunct Seattle Supersonics, got moved to Oklahoma City, and now will be living in the great state of California.
According to the research document, people who have lived in 4 or more states only accounts for 15% of the United States populace. It is no surprise that people are baffled and even confused by Kevin wanting to leave Oklahoma City.
Is It That Surprising?
If a random 27 year old announced to you that he is leaving his current job for one just like it in another state, let’s say in advertising sales, one would certainly ask the question, “What about your family?” His or her response would be that their family doesn’t live near and they would only be leaving the friends they have made. “Go. See the world and the country while you’re young!” would be the most common response.
Kevin’s family does not live in Oklahoma, but in D.C., and he is leaving his legion of fans there for a new legion of fans in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City is a burgeoning city with many attributes of a large city. However, the Bay Area has two large cities narrowly separated by San Francisco Bay and beyond San Francisco is the endless and beautiful Pacific Ocean. There are top restaurants, night clubs, museums, galleries, world class shopping and amazing weekly concerts by various famous singers/songwriters. The Bay Area is one of the most desirable places to live in America according to many trade publications; it has always made the top 5 listing.
It’s only downfall being the cost of living. I’m sure Kevin’s new $27 million per year will ease that fact.
Next season, Russel Westbrook will go alone. The Thunder’s season will no doubt be a little less dramatic without two stars. 2016 – 2017 will be Russ’s last year on the books in Oklahoma City and rumor has it that it will be his last in Oklahoma City as well. Mr. Westbrook is likely to take his talents to the Lakers or maybe the Knicks, where his love of all things fashion can be fully appreciated and his second career can begin.
Kevin knows this for sure and maybe set himself up in advance. Of course, these are all rumors and nothing has been confirmed, the tight-lipped Westbrook only congratulating his friend and ex-teammate on his new home and contract.
A week removed from the malaise and the Oklahoma City fan base has certainly quieted. Twitter lights up a little less with Kevin’s name in tow as the rest of the nation settles into seeing Durant in new brightly colored uniform. Next NBA season should be just as popular as audiences love to hate. Just as many will tune in to see Durant light it up as they will to see him fail.
Even NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement saying super teams are bad for the NBA. He did not say it was bad for ratings, or business, but just bad in general, fueling the fan fire that is sure to come as rapid as a Gatling gun.
I for one can’t wait for next season. I can’t help but love the drama.
(Kevin Durant Chooses Golden State Warriors)(Kevin Durant Chooses Golden State Warriors)