Tracy McGrady would also like you to get off his lawn.
McGrady — the former NBA All-Star, legendary dunker, and current ESPN commentator — became roughly the 10,486,345th person to come out against Kevin Durant choosing to join the 73-win Golden State Warriors to form a new superteam. He was asked about it by Complex Magazine.
I was disappointed in the move to Golden State. I wasn’t disappointed that he left, I mean he’s a free agent, he’s able to go wherever he wants. But I just think having a team now coming off a championship run and you have the champs down 3-1, and they come back and defeat you. I just think as a competitor, you would come back and try to dethrone them with the same team.
You’re playing with a top-five point guard in Russell Westbrook. I mean to me, I think OKC is a championship-caliber team. They displayed that; they just had a major collapse in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. But I was highly disappointed that he chose Golden State to go and play for the other team. I wanted him to stay in OKC.
A lot of people did. Former players love to talk about this — Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller said the same thing.
Durant doesn’t care.
“I respect the hell out of (Barkley and Miller), they can say whatever they want to about me,” Durant said at a Team USA practice in Las Vegas, long before McGrady made his comments — but the same sentiment applies. “I went to do something that I wanted to do. They had their careers, they did what they wanted to do. I respect the hell out of Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley, they were hell of players, they’re two guys I look up to, so I can’t control how they think or how they feel. Or anyone else for that matter. I’m excited about the future….
“Those guys have a big voice in our game, they have a megaphone. If Charles Barkley says it it must be true. If Reggie Miller says it it must be true. They have such a big platform and people respect them, so it seems bigger than it is. I got support, I got my family around me, they love me, they support me no matter what I do — I could be playing tennis right now and retire from the game of basketball and they would love me. I think about that.”
Durant chose his path. As was his right. And there is not one simple, easy answer as to why he chose the Bay Area. Like you or I making a major life decision about changing jobs, there are a lot of factors that go into it — corporate culture, co-workers, lifestyle outside the company, a need for change, weather, family, and much more. We like simple answers, but life doesn’t work that way.
Durant also knows when we look back at his legacy the first note will be the number of rings he won, and there will be no asterisk next to that number.