Kevin Durant took a lot of heat for his choice to leave a good Oklahoma City team to turn Golden State into a juggernaut. Not that he cared — he got the ring he craved, and a Finals MVP to go with it.
Among the groups of critics were many former players — coincidentally, most without rings — who said they would never have jumped teams to join “the enemy” they would have wanted to beat them. It’s all part of the “get off my lawn” generation of players trying to preserve their legacy and egos.
Michael Jordan’s legacy and ego don’t need protecting — and he’s got Durant’s back. Sort of. Jordan was doing a Q&A at his Flight School Camp and sounded like the team owner he is when discussing the issue.
“Kevin Durant is a free agent he can go wherever he wants. I am a total supporter of free agents going wherever they want. Would I have done it, probably not. But he chose to do it, that’s his own right, he has a right to do it. I’m not mad at him for doing it. I wish him the best. I would do it differently.”
Rehashing Durant’s decision now seems about as useful as trying to debate Seinfeld’s “The Puerto Rican Day” episode. As Jordan said, you don’t have to like the choice, but the man earned the right to make whatever decision he wanted on where he would suit up — he didn’t force his way out of town, he played out his contract. Also, I will reiterate this, and it applies to Jordan, too:
You can’t say that winning a championship is the most important thing in a players’ legacy then turn around and question someone doing the thing that makes it most likely they get a ring. The “ringzzzz” argument has always been flawed, but if you’re going to make it the biggest factor in a player’s legacy then players should do the things most likely to get them that ring.