In 2010, Lebron James made the choice to leave Cleveland, a contender and his hometown, and join the Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. We all remember the venom and the talk surrounding that decision then. Lebron was tarnishing his legacy, he was afraid of the competition, and instantly, Miami became the “heels” of the NBA. Everyone hated them outside of Miami and everyone was overjoyed when they crumbled against the Dallas Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki – who had a single star.
Kevin Durant and these Warriors deserve the exact same treatment. What Durant is doing is no different than what Lebron did. What’s so interesting to me is that Durant, and actually, Steph Curry, basically were built on the platform that they were the “anti-Lebron.” They didn’t need super teams, they were humble, good guys, and did things the “right way.” Now that narrative has been tarnished and I wonder what it means for they way Durant is treated this season. Will he be able to embrace the role as the “heel” of the NBA? Lebron never totally did and in fact, it seemed to rattle him. He didn’t expect the backlash he received. Does Durant? Do the Warriors?
And what about these obese contracts being shelled out. Remember in the early 2000s when rookie scale contracts came about to slow these young kids out of high school and college from receiving bloated contracts and then wasting their careers because they couldn’t handle it? How is this any different? The NBA is going to have to address this at some point. I mention these contracts because this rising salary cap has made this Durant decision possible. It’s absurd and it’s harmed the integrity and competitiveness of the entire league.
Some may be more intrigued this season. I am not. I’m disappointed in Kevin Durant and him taking the easy road of joining with the juggernaut instead of actually competing against them. I won’t be boycotting the NBA, but I’ll definitely be watching less of it. I have a feeling that I’m not alone on this island.