After 10 NBA seasons, four scoring titles and an MVP, Kevin Durant can now add NBA champion to his list of accomplishments and accolades. Many people hated on Durant’s decision to join the Warriors calling the move weak, calling him a cupcake, or recently, a ‘sucka’.
But despite the opposition and the criticism, Durant embraced his decision, his new team and his new role. That Determination, focus and blind eye to the naysayers just got him a ring. At this point in time he could care less what anyone thinks of him because no matter what they say, he accomplished a goal he set out to do and became a champ.
What Durant did is similar to what LeBron James did twice. No, LeBron teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat is not the same as KD joining Golden State, but the idea is. A great player too good to be without a ring that refused to let his career slip away took matters into his own hands and put himself in the best position to win a title. And even though LeBron was vilified in 2011, somehow Durant is getting it worse now.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that he joined a Warriors team that most other teams and their fans consider the villains. Because they came out of nowhere in 2015, took over the league and laughed and joked while doing it. After all, people hate winners, especially when it means inevitable defeat for the opposition. And Golden State doesn’t just win, they demoralize teams. KD went and joined that; a force that won 73 games the year prior. But as he reminded everyone to “Check the numbers” in an interview with Rachel Nichols, he didn’t just join up, he led the Warriors. Durant averaged 35.2 points on 55.6 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from three, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in route to an NBA Finals MVP. He became just the third player to win a Finals MVP in his first year with a new team.
But despite what basketball purists and Warriors haters think, in the end, what matters is the ring. It’s the argument so many give when labeling Michael Jordan the goat over LeBron or the argument people give when discussing why greats that never won a ring have legacies that aren’t quite what they should be. Everyone wants to call players out for joining “super teams” but also clown them for never having won a title.
What Durant did was smart. When it’s all said and done he will simply be a champion, and probably more than once. That’s something that no one can ever take from him. Over time the noise will quiet and when it does Durant will look back and smile knowing he made the right choice for himself and it paid off. In fact, he’s smiling now. Haters say what you want, but don’t forget to say Durant is a champ.