When LeBron James left Cleveland for the Miami Heat in 2010 it quickly catapulted him to become one of the NBA’s most disliked players. Now, that title is gradually being turned over to Kevin Durant after his highly publicized transfer to the Golden State Warriors.
Durant’s contract with the Warriors sparked sharp criticisms against the former Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star. Former Chicago Bull Center Will Perdue, in a tweet, compared players now versus his era saying, “In my day u figured out a way 2 beat ’em not join ’em.”
Charles Barkley chimed in and said Kevin Durant is just trying to “cheat his way” to a title.
Kevin Durant isn’t the first player to turn his back for a super team. Nevertheless, Joining the Warriors is not a sure-shot for winning the title as it depletes the team of back up talents.
What this new trend does, however, is that it makes the rich teams more dominating, and the whole franchise becomes narrowed down by the audience to around 5 teams all in all. It’s not just a shift of power, but a major imbalance.
It could become boring with all the best players consolidated in a few places.
On Wednesday, former Indiana Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller raised the question “what’s more important, rings or legacy?”
He pointed out that he understands how tempting it must have been for Durant to move to a powerful team. But he also would not have done it. In fact, he didn’t do it when the Lakers gave him the chance, or when the Celtics wanted him to come out of retirement back in ’07.
It’s about loyalty to the team and the fans, he said, and it’s also about being out there against the best, which pushes you to be better. For him, at least, it’s certainly not about the money.
“Nevertheless, it was the fight to put Indiana on the map that, in my mind, is my greatest accomplishment. I lost to Michael Jordan. I battled Patrick Ewing and his Knicks. I lost to Larry Bird and his Celtics. I lost to Isiah Thomas and his ‘Bad Boys’ Detroit Pistons. I lost to Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway’s Orlando Magic.” Miller said.
“You want to go against those guys, against the absolute best, even if you don’t win.” He added. The team and the fans, “We were in it together.”
Although he acknowledges that winning would eventually hush criticisms, and Durant could turn out to be on the right path in building its legacy by winning titles, he believes “a king should never leave his kingdom.”
Photo courtesy: Instagram.com/@easymoneysniper