Neither Kevin Durant Nor Lebron “Ruined” The NBA; Irrational Stans Of Michael Jordan Did » VSB

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Neither Kevin Durant Nor Lebron “Ruined” The NBA; Irrational Stans Of Michael Jordan Did

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Let’s start at ruin.

Last night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals; culminating a near-perfect playoff run and historic regular season where they established themselves as the best offense in NBA history. And there seems to be nothing to suggest they won’t do the same thing next year. And the year after. And the year after. They have two of the five best players (Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry). The best and most versatile defense player (Draymond Green). Arguably the best all-around shooting guard. (Klay Thompson). The league’s best sixth man (Andre Igoudala). Maybe three of the five best shooters to ever touch a basketball (Steph, Durant, and Klay). And Javale McGee’s rat tail. Sans Igoudala, each member of their nucleus is in their athletic prime. They are a legitimately great team; one that would be great in any era and competitive with any team (the ’96 Bulls, the ’87 Lakers, the ’86 Celtics, etc) on the short list of greatest teams ever.

The seemingly obvious inevitability of the Warriors becoming a dynasty — and Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with them last summer — has caused many to lament that this has ruined the NBA, as no other team would seem to have any shot of beating them in a series. If you are one of these people, please connect with me some time today or tomorrow, because I’d like for you to come to Las Vegas with me. Since you’re very obviously able to predict the future, I’d like to see those skills applied to poker and blackjack. (I’ll even pay for your flight!)

The truth is that none of us have any idea how the next few years will play out. Maybe someone gets injured. Maybe someone gets less hungry. Maybe someone wants a bigger contract and their own team to lead. Maybe they get worn down from facing everyone’s best shot for three consecutive years. Shit, maybe someone’s wife wants to move to New York. We’ve seen it happen before. The Blazers’ dynasty derailed by Bill Walton’s foot. The Celtics’ dynasty by Larry Bird’s back. Just thirteen years ago, the Lakers had Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Fucking Malone, and Gary Fucking Payton and got blown off the court by the freakin Pistons. The 2008 Celtics — the juggernaut with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo — won exactly one championship. The seemingly unstoppable and unfair Miami Heat superteam ended their first season together and last season together with Finals losses. Even in this playoffs, the Spurs were a Kawhi Leonard ankle away from beating the Warriors in game one of their series. And if not for four minutes of bad basketball at the end of game three, it’s very possible that the Finals are 3-2 and headed back to Cleveland today. On paper, the Warriors should dominate for years. But games aren’t played on paper, so we’ll see. (Well, H-A-N-G-M-A-N is played on paper. But basketball isn’t.)

But, let’s say that the NBA is, in fact, ruined. (It’s not. But for argument’s sake, I’ll play along.) That a cocktail of free agency, ring chasing, a pervasive collective lack of a competitive spirit, and something about millennials—I had to throw that in there cause they’re blamed for everything else—has created this dynamic that exists today, where only superteams are competitive and stars seem to prefer playing together to beating each other. The two most obvious products of this cocktail are Lebron leaving Cleveland for Miami and KD leaving Oklahoma City for Golden State; two volcanic moves with seismic impacts on the NBA landscape.

Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of either move. Selfishly, as a fan I just prefer it when stars stay where they are, because it makes fandom easier and less messy. (Basically, I’m just lazy.) But that feeling dissipated when realizing that, considering their own legacies and places in the game’s pantheon, they each made the right decision. Lebron had no reason to have any faith that the Cavs’ front office would put together a team that would beat the Celtics. And after losing in such devastating fashion to the Warriors last year, KD may have very well thought he would be facing another five years of A) losing to the Warriors’ budding dynasty and B) watching them beat him with the type of unselfishness, creativity, spontaneity, and efficiency that he’d never be able to replicate in OKC.

It’s easy for us to attach a pretend and hypocritical romanticism to great players stuck in ungreat environments. Because it’s not us and our legacies and careers at sake. But mainly because it doesn’t actually exist. Well, it doesn’t actually exist anymore. They both know that today, in 2017, in order to be considered an all-time great, the arbitrary criteria for this distinction requires you to win multiple NBA championships. It’s not enough for you to be great. Or great with flawed teammates and/or front offices. Or great but cursed with the misfortune of playing against greater teams. Or great but unlucky. Your greatness has to be so great that it wills opponents to miss shots and your teammates to make them. Your killer instinct must be so ethereal and sublime that it leaves your body like a mist and chokes the life out of anyone who dares breathe in your presence. Your force of personality so all-encompassing that you can just look at a basketball and wilt it into clutch threes.

It hasn’t always been like this. There was a time when greatness was just assessed on the grade of greatness and not whether the great player happened to be on a great team too. Despite losing the first eight times he reached the Finals, Jerry West is roundly considered one of the 15 greatest players ever. So great and so respected that he’s literally the NBA logo. (Can you imagine someone who lost eight times in the Finals being considered for the logo today? Imagine how many shades of beet Skip Bayless would turn if that subject was even brought up.) And if that reference is too ancient, how about Michael Jordan? By his third year in the league, there was no doubt he was already one of the greatest ever, and it wasn’t a crime to admit that even though the Bulls still sucked. The Celtics used to kick the Bulls’ ass, and Larry Bird still called him “God disguised as Michael Jordan.” Rings didn’t validate Jordan’s greatness. His greatness validated his greatness. Rings just meant his greatness was finally surrounded by the right pieces and he was lucky enough to receive the right breaks.

Unfortunately, Jordan’s success altered what’s necessary to qualify as great. Now, for those committed to protecting Jordan’s legacy — and there are A LOT of those stanning-ass sentinel motherfuckers out there — the greatness argument begins and ends with rings; an edict that ignores the myriad and almost hilariously random set of circumstances that enable a team to win a championship. And, if you’re great or even just very good and you don’t win a ring, it’s not because shit just happens. Or maybe just because you’re Batman facing a team full of Batmans. It’s because of some flaw in your DNA; some moral and metaphysical deficiency you must possess that’s preventing your team from winning the last game of the season.

Lebron and KD read the same articles and blogs and tweets that we do. They hear the same conversations. They see the same segments and debates on ESPN. They know that their legacies and placements on the list of all-time greats depends on how many championships they win. KD knows that, as much as we want to pretend we value valiant and integrity-filled losing, we’re a culture that eventually excuses everything if you happen to be a winner. (And eventually ignores all of that valiance and integrity.) His only crimes were that he stopped doing what we pretended to want him to do to do what we pretended to not want him to do.

Ironically, those who do believe the NBA is ruined often happen to be the exact same Jordan stans who use his career as some sort of proof.

The NBA was waaaaaay more competitive when the Bulls won six championships in eight years, and never even played in a single game seven in the Finals.”

Sure, the Bulls had great players other than Jordan, a great coach, a great system, and a great front office, but he never would have teamed with other great players. If he didn’t have all those great things already in place, he would have just stayed in Chicago. And totally never would have gone to the media or tried to get players traded and coaches fired.

They’ll continue to get louder and louder and louder. And I’ll continue to wonder if they can hear themselves.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Out of the folks I’ve seem it’s all about Jordan and their childhood heroes. I didn’t mind because I only care about the playoffs.

  • “KD knows that, as much as we want to pretend we value valiant and integrity-filled losing, we’re a culture that eventually excuses everything if you happen to be a winner.”

    That’s how our elections work too.

  • Val

    This reminds me of hip hop discussions about who are the best rappers. It seems some folks get more pleasure out of discussing hypothetical comparisons than just enjoying the music or in this case, the game. *shrug*

    • I hate those discussions.

      • Val

        Me too. Just like what you like.

        • Basically.

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      • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

        But they fun, tho.

    • MsSula

      They seem so pointless at times. *shrug*

      • It goes like this:

        You’re either an old head who loved the 80’s.
        Someone who loved Jordan and the Jordan era.
        A Kobe fan who thinks Bean was Jordan’s direct descendant.
        A Lebron and Lebron era fan.
        Or a Warriors fan.

        This muddles the debate greatly because of usless nostalgia and hero worship.

        • BlackSpartacus

          Or part of Rev. Pops congregation.

    • Jaris Cole

      Apt analogy, Val. People always find the mental flexibility to do the necessary gymnastics to support their favs all the while claiming they aren’t playing favorites. It has gotten old.

  • AKA The Sauce

    I have a feeling Champ is a Lebron fan.

    • Val

      He is. Or was last season.

      • AKA The Sauce

        Now this post makes sense…lol

      • I believe he is.

    • Damon Young

      I am. And a fan of Michael Jordan the basketball player. I’m basically just a fan of great basketball.

      • AKA The Sauce

        I respect that. I just wanna troll today…I’m a Lakers fan so I have no dog in this fight.

        • Charles Johnson

          More clippers than lakers but since i’m from LA it doesn’t really matter

    • Wise Old Owl

      Duh….

  • Soul Glo Model

    I don’t believe it’s ruined. But it just isn’t all that enjoyable either.

    I do wish that there was more parity in the NBA than what is shown currently.

    • There aren’t enough good basketball players coming our or competent front offices to make parity work.

      • Soul Glo Model

        I think expansion is partly to blame. Placing teams in “smaller” markets no athlete wants to play for just exacerbated what was already a problem for the NBA.

        • I agree with you their. League expansion in the modern era isn’t really needed.

          • BrothasKeeper

            So is collusion needed? What about the smaller markets that depend on sports franchises to create revenue? Sure, it’s unhealthy to put all your eggs in one basket, but some cities rely on that capital. Which teams would go?

            • I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that Charlotte shouldn’t have got another team.

              • You misspelled Memphis. Charlotte actually did well financially the first go-round. Memphis doesn’t make any sense. Vancouver has twice the population, and is wealthier per capita, but you move a team there because the University of Memphis Tigers are damn near pro anyway? How Sway?!

                • The first go round Charlotte’s owner caused them to get booted.

                • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

                  Because Vancity ain’t appreciate basketball. If the NBA put the squad in Montreal, there’d still be 2 teams (and a LOT of children. Montreal women mon dieu!)

          • HouseSublime

            Only reason Cleveland got a ring was due to Lebron, a once in a generation talent, being born in Akron. If he wasn’t from there he would have went to Miami and never looked back.

    • Val

      There’s never been parity in the NBA, at least not for long periods of time. In the early 80s in was Lakers/ Celtics. Then came the Bulls.

      • Two teams have the bulk of the championships. Parity will never happen.

      • Soul Glo Model

        I agree to an extent. The NBA was struggling before Magic and Bird rejuvenated it. So that was all they had. But 2017 and minus the cavs golden state. We still have the same 6 or so teams commanding headlines.

        Even when they aren’t good.

      • There was a team before the Bulls, though. 😎

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44j-teKPsaQ

        • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

          Thank God for the Fab 5 and baggy shorts. Pistons look like they playing in rompers.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Ahhh, the memories. I wish I could upvote this 1000 times.

    • Alessandro De Medici

      In the last ten years, what do you consider to be the most enjoyable season?

      • The strike shorten joint in 2011.

      • Soul Glo Model

        I would have to say the 2013 Heat Spurs battle.

        My second (and unlisted) would be the Wade led Heat in ’06.

        • Alessandro De Medici

          Did you like that season, because of the season itself, or because of the finals though?

          • Soul Glo Model

            Because of The Finals, NL. If I had to choose a season. I would say the 2012 season simply because of the entire circus involving Lebron, not to mention his shoes and colorways from that season were so wavvy.

  • Looking4Treble

    Whatever one might say about KD’s decision to move (I disagreed with it, too), you can’t deny that he showed up and played at a sensational level, and wasn’t just content to ride the coattails of one of the best offensive teams in league history. Like it or not, Dr. J said it in the commercial “At the end of the day, either you have a ring, or you don’t.” LeBron is the best player in the league, but it is a TEAM sport, and he can’t do it alone. The Cavaliers got 7 points from their bench, and even with James, on the floor for 46 minutes, that ain’t getting it done.

    Barring injury, Golden State is almost sure to repeat next year unless Cleveland makes some moves in the off season. Perhaps Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, or maybe Blake Griffin. It would be nice to see some real competition in the East make a run at them, without LeBron having to be Superman every night of the playoffs.

    Jordan for some will always be in an unassailable place, but comparing him to LeBron purely on the basis of rings is overly simplistic, and I say that having grown up in the 80’s. Let these dudes be great on their own merit.

    • HouseSublime

      The ring argument is all people have left because Lebron is a better overall basketball player than Jordan. The numbers are pretty clear about that.

      • Wise Old Owl

        LOL…Points, steals and block a game MJ…rebounds and assists LeBron…PER MJ…and yes, this is not a participation trophy generation…Rings matters and being the actual best player on your team and winning Finals MVP matter, sorry Horry and Russell…

  • PriceIsRightHorns

    I totally forgot about Malone’s stint as a Laker. It doesn’t even sound right, lol.

    • miss t-lee

      I think we all did…lol

      • Charles Johnson

        *takes a shot to forget*

        • miss t-lee

          LMAO
          It’s like MJ on the Wizards, Shaq in Phoenix, etc.

          • Charles Johnson

            i honestly don’t know why either of them did that

            • miss t-lee

              Neither do we…lol

            • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

              Rumour is MJ had to play in order to get a piece of Wizards ownership after retirement.

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            As a wizard fan, I was happy to see MJ play for us! Then, I wasn’t!

            …..Let’s move on please!

            • miss t-lee

              LMAO

      • PriceIsRightHorns

        Lol. I’m glad I’m not alone in this.

        • miss t-lee

          I normally try to forget Karl Malone even exists half the time so, ya know…lol

          • PriceIsRightHorns

            I’m pretty much meh on The Mailman. My mom is a different story, though. She thought he was so FINE. Mama no…?

            • miss t-lee

              Ewwww.
              After finding out dude is pretty much a pedo and all around ain’t sh*t person, I’ve tried to forget he exists.

              • PriceIsRightHorns

                Yeah, that was messy and foul. Did he ever do any time for that?

                • miss t-lee

                  I don’t think so. Stuff was much easier to get away with back then, especially in a small town.

                  • PriceIsRightHorns

                    Wow, smh.

              • Epsilonicus

                I ain’t know that about Malone. Wow

                • miss t-lee

                  Yup. They kept that sh*t WELL hidden.

  • 44isnojoke

    The Spurs are hated by EVERYONE! The NBA front office hates them, the media hates them, and for no good reason. They aren’t a team filled with scandal. They’re slow, and boring, and 5 time champions. So yes the NBA needs to change, the entire mentality for the game is lost.
    Nevertheless, I’m a Jordan fan from way back in the day, when he carried a team game after game and still came up short.

    • Looking4Treble

      I love the Spurs. They just fly under the radar, play great fundamental basketball and quietly win a championship every three years or so. One of if not the best coached team in the league, and one of the best run organizations in sports.

      • 44isnojoke

        Exactly….even back in the day with David Robinson…they took one another under their wings and gave them guidance. Which makes for a great team in the long run. It’s not “I wanna talk about me!” with them. They are all great.

      • Val

        I think Tim Duncan’s personality, or lack of one, rubbed off on the entire organization.

        • I think that’s more of Pop’s personality. That whole “I might be a serial killer” thing works there.

          • miss t-lee

            I don’t think it’s all Pop’s personality though. Like 85% of that is Timmy, although Pop has been a big father figure for him.

        • 44isnojoke

          Are you talking about the silent but deadly (on the court) personality? I met him at a benefit, he was quiet and really down to earth. I even asked for his autograph riiiight before he was going to take a bite of his food. He smiled and now I have his, Carl Lewis and Jester Hairston (Rolly Forbes from Amen)

        • miss t-lee

          I don’t need the best player on the team to have a personality. Just be a leader, get the points and the rings.

          • Val

            Yeah, just responding to a possible reason why the Spurs have the team personality they do. No shade. Lol

            • miss t-lee

              It’s all good Val. I know. :)

        • Looking4Treble

          I think you are right. They took their queues from him. Vanilla, but top-shelf, superior vanilla is that team’s personality, but it pays off. How much media, off the court drama came by way of San Antonio’s Spurs?

          Exactly. Give me that drama free workplace, benefits and salary any day of the week.

      • miss t-lee

        Yup.

    • BrothasKeeper

      I been on the Spurs bandwagon since 1989, and you are so right. There’s so much vitriol directed at them, but all they do is win, and they do it low-key.

      These arguments will persist over time. Magic wasn’t as smooth as Oscar Robertson, Jordan wasn’t as athletic as Dr. J, Ray Allen wasn’t as clutch as Reggie Miller, Shaq wasn’t as dominant as Hakeem, etc., etc. In 20 years, Lonzo Ball may be what Kobe was in this era, and all the comparisons will begin anew; on the other hand, he might not.

      • 44isnojoke

        They’re so unappreciated. I wish they would quit them! Lol. Each time they are great someone has something negative to say. Just the other year the spurs handed the Heat their azzes. If my memory is correct LBJ was suffering in the TEXAS heat…and the outcome was very similar to this championship. So er ummm yeah!

    • Brandon Allen

      What? No one hates the Spurs, they’re widely thought of as classy and the bastion of great basketball. Boring thoooo

      • 44isnojoke

        Man lissen…I’m 45 mins away from SA. They get NO love from nobody! If they media had a choice for showing their game or a rerun of Fantasy Island…Mr Roarke would be on the screen.

        • miss t-lee

          I know what you’re talking about.

    • I don’t hate the Spurs. I just hate that a football town in Texas has more chips than the most basketball obsessed city in the union.

      • miss t-lee

        And?

    • miss t-lee

      He hate us, cuz they ain’t us.
      I love my “boring, small market” team.

    • Charles Johnson

      They’re one of my favorite teams, i love popavich’s system and how he has the most amazing finds. His system makes players better (except aldridge hot danm WTF happened?!)

      • miss t-lee

        LMA was such a WTF moment.

    • Wise Old Owl

      Yes, like dropping 63 points and still losing to the 86 Celtics the eventual champion that year…he did all he could against the Celtics and Bad Boy Pistons, who were the champions in the majority of the years he lost in the playoffs, although he put up amazing stats….that’s why I don’t criticize LeBron for losing to the Warriors and Spurs, because they are all time great teams with multiple championships…however, Bron takes the L for losing to the Mavericks in 2011 and disaperreing in the 4th quarters after mocking Dirk…

  • AKA The Sauce
  • Brandon Allen

    No matter what revisionist narrative people try to craft about KD. I could never understand how he made the choice he did.

    He literally embodied “if you can’t beat em join em ” Don’t know how you can feel like you accomplished something.

    I do blame Jordan stans a bit, because the ringz culture is wayyy overblown for a team sport/business

    • I don’t blame him for getting a better job but I just wouldn’t have joined a squad who washed me.

      • Brandon Allen

        Yeah, I don’t get how you do that and look at yourself in the mirror.

      • Different eras man. If anything, I would have recruited people to OKC to beat him, but to each their own.

        • AKA The Sauce

          Who wanted to go to OKC?

          • Brandon Allen

            Who wanted to go to Cleveland? Players will come to play with talent.

            • Ms. Madam CJ Skywalker

              Nah. The other All Stars Cleveland has were either traded for or drafted.
              Free agents not going to play in OKC small market and ugly uniforms (smh).

          • miss t-lee

            No one…lol

      • AKA The Sauce

        I’m not loyal in corporate America…why should he be?

        • Brandon Allen

          Different. It’s not about the organization.

      • I feel the same. Move on and getcha money, playa. But not with the cats who sonned you a few months ago!

        Have some respect for yourself lol

    • Alessandro De Medici

      I have wondered what it would have been like if KD had gone to the Clippers.

      That said, KD’s decision has always made sense to me, especially if you read a lot of the reports on how he made his decision, it’s clearer as to why he went to Golden State than it was to why LeBron went to Miami. Doesn’t mean I or others would like it.

      • Brandon Allen

        I wish he just openly was like, “I want to be easy”

      • Charles Johnson

        blake griffin would’ve got hurt and my clips would be in the same predicament they were in since the last 3 years

    • Charles Johnson

      It’s not the “if you wan’t beat them then join em.” He wanted to play with a group that played TEAM basketball and not one vs all. He was barely the 2nd option to westbrooke and despite the brotherly love they had the games were apparent that durant wasn’t happy with their offense. durant plays team ball where he doesn’t have to be first option necessarily where (more so in the regular season) the offense flowed so well you didn’t know who you were gonna get screwed by. This is what allowed iggy to get 20 pt and klay get a (finally!) a 30 pt game and the team averaging more assists than any other game. KD went to a system and yes, to get a ring. But a future with RW would guarantee he WOULD NOT have a ring. Moreover, they put absolutely no pieces around the franchise except oladipo who had a 15 and 4 season. Or that andre the “defensive stopper” who was notorious for missing free throws; I keep forgetting what happened this season in the first round of the playoffs.

      He didn’t embody bandwagon but leaving for a better team. Lebron did it TWICE but y’all got some strange memories since he returned home. All KD represents is a player that shows autonomy over his future and legacy rather than hoping that the front office would fortuitously create a better team. Just like KD was lured to GSW, Kevin Love bounced to get a chip with Lebron. You think the deal wasn’t done without Lebron’s blessing? Do you honestly think Love wanted to stay out of arbitrary loyalty to a losing team? FOH with all that stuff. I’M OUT

      • Ms. Madam CJ Skywalker

        Lol.
        “All KD represents is a player that shows autonomy over his future and legacy rather than hoping that the front office would fortuitously create a better team.”

        I agree with this statement. I love how more players (esp top tier players) are taking control of their Legacies now.

        • Charles Johnson

          they got the money, now it’s time to be remembered

          • Ms. Madam CJ Skywalker

            Absolutely.

      • Mr. Mooggyy

        Explain how LeBron went on a bandwagon to a team that was barely over .500 (then below .500)? That’s the stat that most people seem to forget as well.

        • Charles Johnson

          bruh, he went on a team with a championship pedigree with a 3-time champ and convinced two other PERENNIAL ALLSTARS to join. You think they all came to south beach for tanning and botox?! you got me fvcked up.

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            When you are one of the greats, you have that influence on people! Steph and KD come to mind! IJS

            • Charles Johnson

              I’m not even tryin to be a dyck, I don’t know what you mean. Not like “oh you talking crazy!” but more “i actually don’t understand”

        • Charles Johnson

          by that logic hate on ray allen for leaving his championship superteam for ANOTHER championship superteam. how ’bout that

          • Mr. Mooggyy

            Ray Allen was a role player by that time. LBJ was hitting his prime. That comparison doesn’t jive bruh!

            • Charles Johnson

              RAY ALLEN A ROLE PLAYER?! I see your account has been hacked cause the Moogy I know aint talking like he don’t know nothin

              • Mr. Mooggyy

                *Pulls you to the side for a serious convo*

                You gon tell me that Bucks/Supersonics/Celtics Ray Allen (aka Jesus Shuttlesworth) was the same player as Miami heat Ray Allen?

                • Charles Johnson

                  Bosh wasn’t the same was he was before, nor was Wade. You tellin me Wade was bossin it up before the squad came? After shaq lef? nah man

      • Brandon Allen

        Lol, he was one of the main people not playing “team basketball” It’s not a moral failing of the team.

        KD wanted it to be easy. And so it was. The autonomy thing has nothing to do with joining a team that beat you.

        And people still hate LeBron, but he won in Cleveland and didn’t join the winningest team of all time because he was worried he couldn’t beat them. It was charmin soft and he had the right to do it

        • Charles Johnson

          1. After westbrook who was an offensive threat? Oh you said ibaka? he was as consistent was Love and ain’t nobody cried when he left
          2. Lebron formed a super team with 2 other allstars and killed it
          3. If you’re hating on KD (as much as “hate” on Lebron, oh wait nm), you should also hate ray allen to ditched one super champ team for another.
          So please, let’s all stop with the blant hipocrisy and selective memory. If the front office did that shyt we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Again I say: Nah cuh, FOH with dat bullll mayne.

      • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

        ” Durant plays team ball where he doesn’t have to be first option necessarily…”

        THAT. RIGHT. THERE. He doesn’t want to lead. He wants all the privileges of being an Alpha (top dog status, salary), without any of the consequences (the one sought out first by media to question what happened when they lose).

        Michael and Kobe are/were HATED by their peers. Their singular focus on winning and perfection defined who they were. They would tear you a new one if you didn’t perform to their expectations. KD is the best player on the Warriors. Full stop. But he can coast b/c Steph, Klay, or Draymond could go off at any minute.

        I’ve said it before, save for a few players, the NBA is full of Scottie Pippens frontin’ like they Michael Jordans.

        • Charles Johnson

          1. KD was coasting behind Steph Klay and draymond on the way to a FINALS MVP?!? He doesn’t want to be alpha dog, that’s why he agreed to take a modest salary cut to keep some of the role players together.
          2. KD’s primary focus has been winning too, just like MJ and Kobe.
          3. Nobody’s the real alpha on the team and that works well because, as we saw in the finals, KD is a clutch shooter who was heavily depended on in the finals.

    • Queen@

      We do this in life all the time. As a Federal contractor, my old company lost 6 major contracts to my current company. My new company came with a better opportunity. I cha cha right on to the next and would do it again.

      • Brandon Allen

        Totally not a comparable situation. Nevertheless he has the right to do as he wishes.

    • Wise Old Owl

      Before there were Jordan Stans, there were Bird and Magic fans who told MJ fans that until he passed them with 3 and then 5 rings that he was just a selfish ballhog, who didn’t make his teammates Brad Sellers and Dave Conzine better…MJ earned his G.O.A.T status the hard way, it was clear, he had to get 6 rings to pass Magic’ s 5 rings…

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