OPINION: A Kevin Durant Departure From Golden State Would Help The NBA & Durant Himself
While Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant unfortunately provides little use for Golden State as his injured ankle continues to keep him off the court during these NBA Finals, his presence even when healthy dwarfs the potential impact he could have on any other NBA roster.
Durant’s incredible talent goes almost wasted aside countless superstars wearing Golden State jerseys. With the Warriors continuing to illustrate that Durant stands as no dire requirement for their success amid their NBA Finals run, a potential Durant departure to another team moves clearer as a more beneficial move for both Durant and the NBA entirely.
Durant’s basketball talent initially proves why his production while at Golden State goes wasted. Since entering the league, Durant averages 26 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists. HIs statical production, accompanied by his MVP hardware and multiple scoring titles, warrant a future first ballot Hall of Fame selection for Durant, while he also already poises to one day surpass numbers put up by stars such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Durant already plays as an almost one–man wrecking crew. Not that I’d recommend Durant play without any help next season, but rather that he play without the current excessive and unnecessary help he utilizes.
By that, I refer to Durant’s potentially Hall of Fame bound supporting cast, highlighted by two-time MVP Steph Curry, all–time great shooter Klay Thompson, Defensive Player of the Year winner Draymond Green, and perhaps the league’s most dominant center, DeMarcus Cousins. It’s no exaggeration to deem this Warriors roster the most talent ever allied throughout the NBA’s entire history. Any player maintaining Durant’s basketball gifts requires perhaps one or two complementary pieces to succeed, not four.
When NBA free agency eventually begins, Durant will ditch this superhero squad in Golden State if his intelligence comes even close to the level at which he plays basketball. Due to Durant’s easy road en route to his two championships, those championships possess a somewhat lesser value according to many basketball minds including Chris Broussard, who stated, “Players around the league tell me they put an asterisk by Durant’s two championships.” In order to put this concept to bed Durant needs to join a new squad, one where he can win without scrutiny.
This move also poises to benefit the NBA entirely, as a player with incredible impact such as Durant possesses the capability to change the entire league with team transition. With Durant off the Warriors, the Golden State juggernaut comes back down to Earth, allowing other teams to challenge for NBA supremacy. A league no longer dominated by one entire team opens the door for other franchises, fan bases, and with that, revenue to grow. After multiple years where just one team stood unrivaled by all who opposed them, a competitive league remains a real possibility ahead of a potential Durant exodus.
Durant’s decision this summer remains his own and with his recent scuffles involving the media criticizing Durant for his original decision to join Golden State, the back–to–back finals MVP will likely give little aid to the media tracking his free agency tour. Although he may not see it yet, Durant’s choice will dictate not only his career’s direction, but also the entire NBA’s. Make the right decision Kevin, both for your sake and for NBA fans across the globe.