It was 42 days ago Kevin Durant celebrated with Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook after a dominating Game 4 win over the Golden State Warriors during the Western Conference Finals, yet that image faded away with a blink of an eye after blowing 3-1 series lead – contemplating his free agency opportunities since then, Durant stunned the nation with his decision sign with the team he fell one game short of returning to the NBA Finals: The Warriors.
Kevin Durant’s stunning decision to leave Oklahoma City for his Western Conference rival, Golden State, will certainly cap off as the headline for this NBA free agency frenzy.
Not only is the image of KD to represent the royal blue of the Warriors and California’s Golden yellow is the talk of free agency, but the headline of sports this summer. This is one of the biggest, shocking trades since “The Decision” back in 2010.
The NBA community is making LeBron James/Cleveland comparison with Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State, having new perspectives of the former MVP some that are fair and of course, some that are not.
First Take’s Stephen A. Smith had one of the harshest viewpoints of Durant’s new signing, the only bigger critic right now may just be the Thunder Radio Network in Oklahoma City, for it didn’t take take very long for Smith’s reaction to catch everyone’s attention with his surprisingly pessimistic reaction.
Speaking about the Durant headlines Monday on SportsCenter, Stephen A. Smith took the NBA world by storm, by categorizing Durant’s decision as “incredibly
“I’m viewing it as the weakest move I’ve ever seen from a superstar,” Smith said.
His reaction is now one of the headlines that surround the shock waves originating from KD’s announcement Monday morning, and is an example of how powerful this move will impact NBA free agency. Golden State’s new acquisition of NBA’s youngest scoring leader, throws off the balance and changes the landscape of the league greatly.
With another scoring champion on the Warrior roster, can we start making assumption that this roster could resemble a “super team”?
With a former and current MVP on their roster, along with two more All-Stars, the Warriors do have the makings of an all-time super team. NBA prospects are already giving them the best odds to win the title next year – as they should.
I mean, who is possibly going to challenge this team?
There have been numerous questions the on the chemistry aspect of the trade, wether Durant can mesh with the Splash Brothers or not, but amazingly enough, he fits perfectly in Steven Ker’s system.
The scary realization for opponents to witness will be the Barnes-Durant transition, now all of the wide open jumpers will be taken from KD, instead of Harrison Barnes.
Durant, 28, just signed a two-year deal worth over a incredible $54.3 million – with a team that has had back to back NBA Finals appearances, and won its previous championship. This is a scary trade for opponents for many reasons, mainly because the scoring champion is in the prime of his career, and he is going to one of the best teams in the NBA.
The burden of having to win a championship and living up to all the hype, will be an interesting test to for KD, but playing for a new franchise will help him alleviate this pressure. The new destination will give him an opportunity to create a new identity, for the superstar had labeled his announcement in the Players Tribute to be “My Next Chapter”.
Photo by Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA (Kevin Durant) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons