“Why don’t today’s stars care more about winning than personal stats or being ‘The Man’ on their team?”
“How dare Kevin Durant join the Golden State Warriors and take the easy route to a championship!”
Welcome to the paradox of being Kevin Durant. Whatever he does, some segment of fans will rip him. It’s no win.
He doesn’t care. Anymore. There was a time when Durant was still seeking validation and joining the Warriors — and the support of Stephen Curry and company— provided that. Now? He’s a two-time Finals MVP and he’s moved on. He’s not worried you think he has ruined the game, as he explained to Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“My responsibility is to my skills. My responsibility is to myself,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “I’m not worried about the NBA. That’s their job. They make too much money. They ain’t paying me enough to dictate the NBA. I should be making more money if all that’s on me. My responsibility is to whatever team I play for. All that other stuff, that’s on y’all…
“The Bay Area allows me to be who I am, as a city, to just blend in, and the team allows me to do the same thing,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “All I want to do in my life, while I’m healthy, is to work on my game and enjoy the game and not worry about nothing else. This place gives me that. This is the best place for me to just play ball, work on my game, play ball, and not care about [expletive] that normal NBA superstars are supposed to care about.”
How dare he focus on personal and professional joy at the expense of Twitter trolls.
His point on the NBA is valid. We don’t look back and think “it sucked when Magic’s Lakers and Bird’s Celtics were meeting in the Finals all the time” or “it sucked when Jordan dominated the NBA.” Now those are revered as glory years. We look back on those eras as great basketball, and we will do the same with the Durant/Curry Warriors. Social media leads to contrarians, but those with weak points lose out in the long arc of history.
The Warriors are a dynasty. This is basketball as it should be played. Durant is part of that, and history will judge him accordingly.