Kevin Durant. My nakama. I really thought that he was going to stay in OKC, but I guess that wasn’t part of his nindou. People around the world felt the waves that crashed into the shores of the NBA when he chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors, and for good reason – basketball as we know it has seemingly been victimized. The devastation to the basketball nation will unite many fans in truth and love to cheer against Team Golden State, who will be popping off again on your favorite team, night by night. This is the New World, and Gol D. State is about to become legendary.
However, upon giving it some more thought, the prospect of having Kevin Durant excites me, but not because I’m going to enjoy seeing him pulling up in blue and gold. What excites me is knowing that the rest of the NBA is changing too; none of the other twenty-nine teams are going to just lay down and die before the Warriors. In fact, with the signings of this years free-agency, basketball fans across the world have entered the New World together. Al Horford on the Celtics. Jeremy Lin in Brooklyn. My personal favorite, Pau Gasol in San Antonio (Go Spurs). The teams we watch next year are already profoundly different; there will be no more Kobe (yes, I had to remind you) and the Lakers actually seem to have a fairly exciting, young future.
So, maybe we should all thank Kevin Durant. Thank him for being so much a part of OKC that we never thought he’d leave OKC, for the charity work he’s done there during his time there, for the NBA narratives of whether or not he’ll ever win a ring with Russ to the new narratives of how many rings will he win really? We ought to thank him for showing us that this really is the New World, where Dirk might be seen as a fool for not taking his talents to Golden State as well and get the rings his legacy deserves. Thank you, Kevin Durant, for all that you’ve done and all that you’re continuing to do because we are about to witness a powerfully competitive NBA where the only way to win will not be couched solely in having a “death lineup,” but in versatility of talent and creative coaching (here’s to you, Pop). Just because the rest of the NBA could not sign KD does not mean that they’re just going to stop wanting to win. We may finally see the East begin to step up a little knowing how tremendous one of its final opponents is (because you can never count the Spurs out). Kevin Durant, I will enjoy rooting against your new team, and if you’re in the Finals, I may be rooting for the second-best runner in a two-man race, but hey – if you can go to Golden State, anything can happen.