I need help. Last July, there were many folks out there who defecated on themselves, soiling their pampers publicly when Kevin Durant announced his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. They yelled, screamed and called the man weak, not seeming to care about the putrid odor coming from their desire to insert themselves into another man’s life and career decisions.
Some called it the “weakest move ever.” I countered by saying that “The Weakest Move Ever Is Having A Tantrum About Kevin Durant.“
Seeing KD’s arrival back on the Finals stage, and how he’s seized this moment to educate the uneducated about how truly special he is, has been enjoyable to me. That’s because I appreciate brilliance, excellence and all-time greatness. And that’s what KD, and the entire Golden State construct, has given us through this 14-0 playoff run.
In the Golden State Warriors’ 132-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals, Durant became the first player in NBA Finals history to post a line of at least 33 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks and 3 steals.
So let’s flash back for a minute. Last year, the self-absorbed bulbous-headed blabber-mouths were apoplectic, claiming that KD was “running away” from a challenge towards a microwaveable title that would somehow be devalued.
And my answer to that lunacy was that he wasn’t running away from the challenge, but rather towards a bigger one. What he ran towards was the challenge of the only thing that seems to matter in sports today in terms of creating an everlasting legacy. And that is collecting rings as an Alpha Dog.
Do you recall the atmosphere around Gary Payton and Karl Malone, two of the game’s all-time greats, joining Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers in pursuit of an NBA title? Everybody wants to put this onus on LeBron and KD for this supposed poisonous and brotherly AAU culture that is ruining the competitive nature of the sport, and this evil concept of the “Super Team.”
As I previously wrote
“But prior to “The Decision”, where was all that jibberish when The Glove and The Mailman went to the Lakers?
But now this is all LeBron’s fault, and KD is weak, and cats are taking shortcuts to a championship. Right?
Guess what? There is no such thing as a shortcut to a ring. The entire mention of such is just dumb.
In 1970, Oscar Robertson filed suit against the NBA, asserting that the draft, option clause and other rules restricting player movement were violations of antitrust laws. His lawsuit sought an end to the option clause that bound a player to a single NBA team through perpetuity and to demolish restrictions on free agent signings, among other things.
2016 commemorates the 40th anniversary of the lawsuit being settled and the resulting Oscar Robertson Rule, which helped NBA players become the first professional athletes to achieve free agency, altering the balance of power in professional sports.
LeBron James slashes down the baseline and throws down the poster dunk over JaVale McGee 2017 NBA FINALS: WARRIORS VS CAVALIERS Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers Game 1 June 1 2017 NBA Finals Highlights Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State, Warriors, Cleveland, Cavaliers, NBA Finals, 2017 NBA Finals, NBA Highlights, June 1 2017, Game 1, Cavaliers vs Warriors
But instead of celebrating what it meant, and the ramifications that have allowed the likes of not just LeBron and Kevin Durant, but any other NBA player who has ever penned a free agent contract ever since, most dudes want to insert themselves in the narrative, authoritatively telling other people what they should and should not do…
In today’s currency, the ring is the thing. Period. It’s downright silly to castigate him for leaving OKC. It’s actually the mark of an unstable individual who does so. He’s taking ownership of his own professional trajectory, whether you like it or not.
Nobody has a problem with the most accomplished investment banker at J.P. Morgan leaving for Goldman Sachs because he feels that it’s a better company. No bulb-headed moron is standing on Wall Street screaming that it was a weak move. No, we celebrate, in any other endeavor, when folks take command of their professional life.
But not in the NBA, it seems.”
Kevin Durant caught fire in his first-ever NBA Finals game for the Golden State Warriors, dropping a game-high 38 points to go with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Meanwhile, LeBron James went for 28 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists in another star effort, as he became the first player to score more than 6,000 Playoff points.
The crazy thing to me is that, instead of appreciating this level of historical brilliance we’re witnessing from Golden State, there are some folks out still here firmly dug into and wallowing in the stench of their trench that KD was wrong for somehow wanting to be a part of perhaps the most remarkable thing we’ve seen since the ’96 Chicago Bulls.
Even more idiotic are those folks claiming that if the Cavs lose this series, that is somehow further empirical evidence that LeBron James “chokes”, that his legacy is soiled.
Watch as LeBron James throws the hammer down with thunderous authority, in first quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Live on ABC.
As great a competitor as Russell Westbrook is, would you rather play with him, or with a team that values movement, crisp passing and unselfishness in an offense that is utterly unstoppable? And I’m not talking about when things are clicking. Because we have yet to see this Warriors machine flex to their fullest capacity yet in this year’s Finals.
Durant had more to lose by coming to Golden State than he did by staying in OKC. Remember those silly questions about how he would fit in? About if his ego could handle sharing the wealth to the extent that the Warriors spread the rock around? What would it say if his team, God forbid, lost?
KD wasn’t coming to town to fit in! He was coming to give him the best chance to reach the pinnacle of his sport and take on the baddest man on the planet. The sense of urgency was undeniable.
He was coming to see the King. And he wasn’t just coming for a visit. Thus far, he’s shown that he’s coming for that crown. And ya’ll are mad at that???
I vividly recall, three years ago as they started to assert their dominance on the game during the regular season, all of the moronic armchair hoops analysts screaming that Golden State would never win a championship because they were too reliant on the deep ball? How did that one work out? Remember all the “LeBron sucks!” laughter by the haters last year, down 2-0 in the Finals against a team that won an NBA-record 73 regular season games. How’d that one work out?
Word to those who’d like to be wise: when you watch the remainder of this Finals, be silent. Stop blabbering about this “Super Team” nonsense, how LeBron and KD have ruined the game, how KD supposedly walked into a championship or how LeBron is somehow “LeWeak.”
Seriously, stop talking and appreciate the excellence on display. Watch how the addition of KD has Golden State in the discussion with the great Celtics and Lakers squads in the ’80s, the “Fo’ Fo’ Fo'” 76ers, Wilt and Bill Russell’s very best squads, and a few select others as one of the greatest teams we’ve ever seen.
Watch and savor LeBron’s herculean efforts in every chamber of the game’s nuance in trying to get the Cavs where they have no business being against this Warriors crew, and that’s cutting down the nets.
Stop living in the past, holding on to your Jordan and Kobe man-crushes like LTD! Or rather a persistent STD.
LTD – Holding On (When Love Is Gone) Year: 1978 Keep The Funk Alive !!
How about you come into the present and appreciate it for what it is: some of the greatest individual performers that history has ever blessed us with, along with this comet soaring through the hoops universe that is Golden State on both ends of the floor.
Cats out here still yelling that LeBron and KD are “weak” just astounds me. As I’ve mentioned before, I subscribe to the theory espoused by the great urban philosopher Frank Lucas, who once said, “The loudest one in the room, is the weakest one in the room.”
And there’s plenty of cats out here rambling on like your inebriated Uncle Gus at the annual Memorial Day cookout: flat out loud and wrong.
Players like KD and LeBron, both once-in-a-lifetime types of talent, have let their games do the talking from the minute they made their NBA debuts. You’d think that most of us would be at the point of appreciating the brilliance in the hoops constellation that currently surrounds us, instead of inserting one’s own insecurities into a one-sided yelling match.
You mad at KD? Don’t understand how he’s elevated this Warriors construct? Still hating on LeBron? Don’t think this Warriors team is special?
LeBron James tied Magic Johnson for most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 14 assists in Game 2
That’s too bad.
Because on this side of the basketball universe, we appreciate greatness in all of its forms and derivatives. And it’s sad that amid all of this nonsensical noise, some don’t have the ability to understand what they’re witnessing in real time.
I hope they come to their senses. Because the history books know what’s happening right here.
And the animus about KD and LeBron taking charge of their professional arc, putting themselves in the best possible position to reach the pinnacle, objectively looking at a situation and saying, “this is what I want and this is how I can get there,” when the ultimate measure of one’s greatness is an ever elusive ring, the thing that some of the game’s greatest players never have been unable to achieve?
KD is coming at the King. And like Omar famously said, “You come at the King, you best not miss.”
Ya’ll mad at that? Ya’ll mad at a man running toward a challenge? Ya’ll mad at legendary dominance?
Where dey do dat at???