Kevin Durant is a Warrior.
It feels weird to say it, even though I’ve had a few days to get used to the idea. Already boasting the two best shooters on the planet, my team has now added a lethal offensive machine with big-man size and guard skills. It doesn’t seem quite fair.
Certainly the fans in Oklahoma City feel that way. When the news came down on the 4th of July, they started throwing #35 jerseys onto their barbecues. Just a few short weeks ago, the Thunder were up 3-1 on the Dubs in the Conference Finals, and folks in OKC were starting to plan their parade route. Now they’re down to just one superstar, and he may be on his way out the door soon too.
But enough about the poor unfortunate Mr. Floyd, let’s talk about the rich and prosperous Mr. Butch.
The Warriors will begin the 2016-17 season as prohibitive favorites, which is natural under the circumstances but carries with it its own set of difficulties. Any little hiccup, any indication that the new combination of players is not immediately gelling, will be magnified into a colossal disaster that will have the Charles Barkleys and Stephen A. Smiths of the world looking even more smug than usual.
And of course, attempts to build All-Star teams don’t always work out. Remember the Shaq/Kobe/Karl Malone/Gary Payton fiasco? So to paraphrase Winston Wolf, let’s not initiate the fellatio just yet.
Still. Imagine Klay in one corner, Steph in the other, Durant up top. What will defenses do? Their heads will explode just trying to decide who to worry about the most. It’s going to be fun.
And that’s the key here, I think. People assume Durant made his decision to chase rings, and I’m sure that’s a big part of it; but I bet he also thought about how much fun it would be to play on a team that brings elegance and joy to the game, along with skill and passion. There’s no point messing around — NBA careers are short, as is life, but the months between now and opening night are going to be long.