It’s a shame, Kevin Durant, to think of what the narrative could’ve been this year had you stayed in Oklahoma City.
You, Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, and Andre Roberson on a mission. A mission to get revenge on the Golden State Warriors. The 73-win team who everyone thought was unbeatable, that you had on the ropes. The team that you were one punch away from knocking out and getting to the finals. The team that you would’ve beat had it not been for a record setting shooting display from Klay Thompson in Game 6. The team that broke the hearts of Oklahoma City in 2016.
This year, you face them once again in the Conference Finals, and you guys win. You overcome your demons and get your revenge. The revenge you’ve waited an entire year for.
Then you go to the finals to face Lebron James. The best player in the world. The best player of a generation. The man coming off of one of the greatest finals performances of all time. Most importantly though, the man who beat you and Russ in 2012.
And you two have a battle for the ages.
Win or lose, 2017 shows a ton about your character. Your ability to overcome 2016’s demons and beat Golden State, your ability to go toe-to-toe with Lebron and give him an incredible fight in the finals. It shows grit, strength, toughness, tenacity, the heart of a champion.
It’s a shame we couldn’t see that this year, because that would’ve been really special.
Instead, you went to Golden State. The 73-win team who everyone thought was unbeatable, that you had on the ropes. The team that you were one punch away from knocking out and getting to the finals. The team that you would’ve beat had it not been for a record setting shooting display from Klay Thompson in Game 6. The team that broke the hearts of Oklahoma City in 2016.
The one team you couldn’t beat. So you joined them.
You guys steamrolled through the regular season. You steamrolled through the postseason, going 16-1. You won your first championship. You won your first finals MVP. You played incredible basketball in the Finals.
Guess what? You should have.
That’s why what you did last summer was so frustrating.
This year wasn’t an all time great coming back from insurmountable odds to capture a ring for his city like in 2016. It wasn’t a team finally winning the title after being right on the doorstep for so long like in 2015. It was a trio of legends getting revenge they so desperately craved like in 2014.
This year was a loaded superteam doing exactly what they should have done. There was no challenge, there was no great story, there was no epic conclusion to a great season in the finals.
It’s truly a shame, Kevin Durant, because you’re an incredible basketball player. Gifted with the size and length of a big man, the handles of a point guard, the quickness of a swingman, and deadly shooting. You’re the greatest pure scorer this game has seen in a long, long time.
You could have used all of that to lead Oklahoma City to a championship, and it would have been so incredibly special to watch. You and Russ, leading the franchise that drafted both of you to the promised land. Going from winning 23 games in in 2008-09, to making the finals in 2012, to getting your heart torn out in 2016, to finally getting to the top of the mountain this year.
That really would have been something.
Instead, you took the easy way out and went to the Warriors. You didn’t just have three other all-stars with you, you had the reigning 2-time MVP, a top 3 shooter in the league, and a guy in Draymond Green who’s one of the best at giving you anything you need.
It’s a shame that you’re so talented, yet everything you accomplished this year just doesn’t seem that impressive, because it all simply should’ve happened.
Winning in OKC would’ve been really special. Winning in Golden State was a given.
And that’s a shame, Kevin Durant. That’s a damn shame.