Hate It Or Love It, Kevin Durant Is Forging His Own Path Toward NBA Immortality
As a member of Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, Kevin Durant released a song called “Worried About Tomorrow”. Coincidentally, this song summed up his move to the Golden State Warriors last July. With an eerie hook that chants “I ain’t worried about tomorrow, I’m just worried about me”, Durant kept a similar state of mind when making the decision to forge his own path to Oakland. Durant’s move to the Bay Area reminded everyone in the NBA universe of the moment when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, but this was different. By now, we know the narrative; Durant left Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to be with Steph Curry and the Warriors, but it is time to let the KD criticism go.
How long is one supposed to mourn a bad breakup? This is a controversial question that does not have a definitive answer. Comparatively, this year’s NBA season has dwindled down to the “breakup” between Durant and Westbrook, with everyone having their own assessments. Many aficionados were incensed with Durant about his move to Golden State, saying that the NBA will no longer be competitive.
From my viewpoint, I disagree with the critics. The NBA will be better in the distant future because teams will be forced to win now or go bust. An old saying goes, “if you hang around six rich people you will be the seventh”, and this holds true for Durant’s move to Golden State. How can we chastise a man for wanting to be rich? The more substantial question is, why can’t an elite player play with other elites? Is it because our predecessors chose not to, or is there a mindset to earn a win on one’s own? Durant has proven himself a team player and went to a team full of team players who also happen to be on the best team in the league. Everything about his move makes sense.
The NBA has been significantly changed with some credit to Durant, who has made the ultimate sacrifice this past offseason. Durant is without a doubt a superstar, but he has redefined the NBA by his selfish ability to be unselfish. Draymond Green of the Warriors explained the criticism of Durant simply stating, “In 10 years they’ll remember a ring, but they’ll talk about Kevin for now”. Durant has explained on multiple occasions that a championship will not define him as a person or player, but will be an accolade. In professional sports, that is unheard of because the greats have championships: Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, the list goes on. Growing up in sports we are told that winning is not everything, but Durant is affirmed to be a trailblazer in his own right.
Like it or not, athletes are more intelligent and outspoken now than ever before, and I am here for it. Durant made the move to Golden State not only to be on the best team but to be the best teammate he could possibly be. Rising stars should adopt a mindset like Kevin Durant’s. Industry legends should challenge athletes and ask “if you are not striving to be better, then what are you really doing?” It’s clear that Durant is focused on right now, and certainly not worried about tomorrow.