After 82 games of the regular season each team that’s in are only 16 wins away from becoming a Champion. The playoffs are where legends are made and the heart of a champion shines through. KD and others have taken a lot of heat these last few years because they left their old teams to join a contender. However just because they left doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed a championship.
Look I’ve grown up in the modern era of free agency in all sports and if championships were so easy to win everyone would have them. It takes more than paper championships to define a championship team. You actually have to come together and put your ego aside to win them. How quickly the retired veterans forget they didn’t win them by themselves and most of them were on “Super Teams” just like we have now.
Everyone wants to jump on KD for leaving the Thunder and going to the Warriors saying he sold out and took the easy road, but you still have to win the championships. I feel KD and the other players that have made these moves had way less pressure on them in their smaller markets. Now they actually have to win the championship to validate the move but not their career.
Let’s look back on history and tell me one championship that was won in the modern era that didn’t involve superstar trades or signings? I think we have more cases where it didn’t result in a championship. The retired veterans want to get on KD, Wade, Lebron and many others for making these moves, but quickly forgot Shaq left Orlando for MONEY and again when he left LA to go to Miami, Barkley left Phoenix for Houston (never won), Malone left Utah for LA (never won), Peyton left Seattle for LA, The Boston Big 3 joining forces, Webber left Washington for Sacramento (never won), Wilt left Golden Sate for Philly, Kareem left Milwaukee for LA.
My point is that these types of moves have always happened, but it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to win a championship. Another way to look at it is, how is this any different than tanking at the end of the season for a draft pick? You make these moves hoping that it can finally bring the championship home, but a championship is a team trophy not a 1 player trophy. Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, Wilt, Kareem didn’t win crap without the supporting cast of all time greats. Lebron went to the NBA finals 2 times with Cleveland and once with Miami before he won because he didn’t have the pieces and chemistry around him. One could argue that KD had a better team in OKC, but the ownership wasn’t willing to invest in the core 3 of Durant, Westbrook and Harden. It really comes down to ownership, egos, and chemistry in a lot of cases to make these teams come together.
So now we’re sitting at the start of the playoffs with Golden State with the number 1 seed and the best record for 3 straight years. KD is coming off of injury and was looking fresh last night. The Spurs dropped one last night at home to the Clippers but we all know the Spurs can flip that switch when it counts. The Cavs have been struggling of late just 5-5 in the last 10. The Clippers have looked like a complete team winning 8 of the last 10. Despite the “Super Teams” we’re heading into the playoffs where anyone can win this. Boston doesn’t have a “Super Team” but they have just as much a chance as Cleveland to win the east. My personal opinion is the championship goes through San Antonio or Golden State and the East can’t hang with them.
Will KD get his ring? Only time will tell, but as one fan of the NBA I can’t wait to see if paper can become gold!