Kevin Durant will sign a two-year deal with the Warriors at $54.3 million, league sources say, with a Player Option for Year 2
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2016
Just like that! In one verbal agreement the Warriors, Thunder, Heat, Boston, Clippers, Spurs, Western Conference, Eastern Conference and the overall NBA landscape has changed.
There is now a resounding “Just when you thought the Warriors couldn’t get any better” being uttered around the NBA world as Durant ended his Free Agency tour. It’s crazy to think that just a month ago we all watched as the Western Conference Finals produced one of the best series we’d see until the Finals. For the most part we saw that coming and after that series we all expected to see it at least one more time next season as the Thunder would surely run into the Warriors for a rematch of best in the west.
Well the bad news is that not only will that not happen, it won’t even be seen on another team not named Oklahoma City. Fans have always been suspicious of the thought of super-teams being manufactured and once again we are presented with a new group of superstars except this time it feels different.
We all remember 2010 and for the hours after Durant’s decision surfaced there were a lot of comparisons to LeBron’s pairing with All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. For Durant however, this is nothing like that – rather it is unlike anything we’ve seen or may be prepared for to this current day. The shock that comes from this decision is not the insertion into a new team, but instead the migration into a foundation system that has just won a NBA Championship, boasts 3 All-Stars, a 2-time MVP and a record breaking season. After all that, this is why the 2 decisions are different and yet it doesn’t make either one easier for the fanbases.
When it comes to Durant’s choice, there is still a group of people that are waiting for the criticism to roll in on Durant much like what James dealt with from 2010 onwards. This time we are seeing less critique and instead an abundance of mixed reactions from all fans.
Perhaps its Durant’s running persona that he is harder to critique than LeBron and that its been that way for a while now. The skinny kid that had humble beginnings in Seattle to being united through the draft with Westbrook and the narrative that the OKC situation wrote. But if there was any moment that would break this narrative the time is right now.
However, much like the LeBron, Durant doesn’t deserve to be hated for his choice at all. He was a free agent and decided for whatever reason that the well-equipped Warriors are now super-equipped to provide Durant all his desires.
And much like the Miami team that was all the buzz for those 4 years, this team will be no different and at the end of the day perspective is everything – just ask Draymond Green:
Quote from Draymond Green to the @TheUndefeated on new Warriors teammate Kevin Durant.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to add one of the best players in the world to our team and welcome him to our brotherhood! This will be some of the best times of our life and I’m looking forward to it.”
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 4, 2016