Let me start out by saying that I hated what Kevin Durant did last summer for several reasons. First, it literally broke the NBA. Second, he left Russ high and dry to join an already built super-team that they blew a 3-1 lead to just a few months earlier. (Russ is a personal favorite of this blog’s writers and if you don’t like Russ we don’t like you). Would I have loved to see him in Celtic green? Yes, but I personally don’t think that was as close to happening as Danny Ainge or Boston mainstream media will tell you. I have no sources at all to back that up, but moving on.
Although their overall record was not as impressive as the Durant-less 73-9 from last year, the Warriors were the best team in the NBA from opening tip night one, and even though on that night one they were pummeled by the Spurs, once the Warriors got rolling they never looked back. Once KD returned from injury and the team rounded into form it became clear nobody was going to stop them before the NBA Finals. From March 14th to last night, the Warriors were 31-2, undefeated at home. On top of that, they actually got lucky in the playoffs. Jusuf Nurkic missed 3 playoff games for the Trailblazers in the 1st round. George Hill missed time in round 2 for the Jazz. And we all know what went down between Zaza and Kawhi in the Western Conference Finals. I have to give the Spurs their due credit here. If Kawhi doesn’t go down, that is a totally different series and I GUARANTEE it isn’t a sweep. But let’s go ahead and assume that the Dubs are still able to win that series for the sake of this article. Then, the finals came along, and Kevin Durant absolutely turned it on to another level. He averaged 35.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 5.4 APG, and 1.6 BPG. Oh yeah by the way, this was on 55.6% from the field and 47.4% from three. The man absolutely fucking balled. He and the Warriors played beautiful basketball and for certain stretches could not miss. Durant pulled up and hit DEEP threes, several of which were game ending daggers right in the face of Lebron James.
Yes, Durant had the better team than Lebron. Yes, Lebron also played extremely well. But Durant straight up led his team to this title. He didn’t hop on the bandwagon, he grabbed it by the fucking horns and led it to redemption against the Cavs. He didn’t take a backseat by joining the Warriors, he took advantage of the flaws in the NBA salary cap, put himself in the best basketball situation and balled out to a title and a Finals MVP. Nobody can take that away from him. Give the man some credit for the way he played basketball all season long, especially during the finals. Hate the move to Golden State for ditching Russ and going to the team he lost to all you want, but appreciate great basketball when you see it. Congrats KD, you stepped up and earned it. Torch passed.