Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kevin Durant + Golden State = Good Thing?

Kevin Durant signing with Warriors press conference.
(Photo Courtesy: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports)
On July 4th, 2016, Kevin Durant announced that he will be signing with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent. Ever since that date, this has been the biggest and main story-line leading into the upcoming season for the NBA. Anybody and everybody have given their two cents on why Durant shouldn’t have made this decision. Opinions have included it being bad for the game by making what was essentially already an extremely talented team that much better and it being a cop out by Durant for taking the easy way to a championship. Most people not currently a member of the Golden State Warriors organization have focused on how this is a negative but I am here to point out why this is a great thing for both the NBA and it’s fans.

Although each and every league strives for parity, where every team has a chance at a championship, the reality is that sports are fun to watch when there is a big bad team that you just love to hate and want to see fall flat on their faces. In a matter of two years, Golden State has went from the little engine that could to the big bad wolf. Think of the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Lakers of yesteryear or more recently the New England Patriots and Miami Heat. Those were the teams that those bandwagon casual fans linked onto, claiming to always be fans of those teams. And those were the teams that just about everyone couldn't wait to see fail. No matter what team you cheered for at the time, if it wasn't one of those teams, they instantly became a rival, and if it was one of those teams, every team they played felt like a rivalry game.

Personally I have experienced this growing up as a fan of the wonderful world of sports. I have always been a fan of all Philadelphia teams (except for that unspeakable time during the Deion Sanders/Dallas Cowboys relationship that I actually cheered for Dallas - I was young and dumb) which has not always been easy. As a huge basketball fan during the mid-90's, watching the likes of Clarence Weatherspoon and Rex Walters lead my favorite team, it was hard not to get caught up in the Chicago Bulls dynasty that was unfolding in front of my eyes. It was almost a foregone conclusion that the Bulls were going to the championship and would likely win for as long as Michael Jordan decided that he wanted to play. 

As my older brother enjoyed the ride, with his Chicago Bulls poster and his Jordan and Rodman jerseys, I found myself latching onto the Orlando Magic, with a young Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway, and the Seattle Super Sonics, with a young Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, looking to take over the crown. It gave me hope that soon the league would no longer be dominated by arguably the greatest of all time. Searching out Reggie Miller and the Pacers or Karl Malone and the Jazz to give us hope that this team was beatable in a series and that it would finally be someone else's turn to win. When the Chicago Bulls finally disbanded after championship number six, it was a time that gave other franchises, and their fans, hope. As much as you may have respected how talented of a team they were, you almost felt like it was a little unfair that this team was so much better than everyone else.

How I felt then, is exactly how I feel now except that the best player in the world is not on this team that is so unfair to the league. LeBron James stands in the way of the evil Golden State Warriors dominating the league. The story writes itself. In sports, rivalries conquer all and to watch the Cavaliers and Warriors battle it out for league supremacy, although predictable, is absolutely compelling television and can only be good for the sport. You get to watch an exciting team with a plethora of great shooters and basketball players take on a once in a generation player, the best since MJ himself, for the top spot in the league.

I realize where the criticism comes from but I also realize how this is going to be great for the game. You now have other teams saying why can't we beat this Golden State team? Who says we are not as good as Cleveland? You'll see teams play their best against these teams because they feel disrespected. Watching the Bulls play growing up in the playoffs was some of the most intense basketball I have ever seen. That's what will be waiting for Durant, Curry and the Warriors and what has been waiting for LeBron just about every year since he's walked in the league. Teams will be waiting for them, they will be doing everything in their power to knock them off. To be honest, the odds are against all of them actually succeeding but the fact of the matter is, we will all be watching in hopes for the King to fall and the NBA's new Super Team to fail. Hope is all us non-bandwagon, non-Warrior and non-Cavalier NBA fans have right now but that's exactly why we will be right there watching, no matter how predictable the outcome may actually be.

Do you agree or disagree? Comment on the article, give us your feedback. Let's discuss.

No comments:

Post a Comment