Ever since NBA superstar LeBron James infamously decided to decamp from his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat with fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, nothing has really been the same in the league. The 2010 Miami Heat became the archetype of the NBA super-team for 4 years, receiving an abundance of both admiration and loathing.
The summer of 2016 held a narrative very similar to that of LeBron James’ as Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star and former MVP Kevin Durant entered free agency.
With nearly every team in the League willing to throw millions at Durant, he decided to buy into the cliché phrase “if you can’t beat them, join them” by leaving Oklahoma City to join his rival: the Golden State Warriors.
Though the fans of OKC are heartbroken by Durant’s abandonment, this could potentially turn out to be a vice for the Warriors, and a virtue for the Thunder.
Despite coming off of a finals loss to LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors made history by winning a record-breaking 73 games in a single NBA season statistically making them one of the best teams to ever step on the hardwood.
With the video game-esque playmaking ability of 2 time MVP Steph Curry, the all around skill of forward Klay Thompson, a budding All-Star talent in Draymond Green, and the multitude of role players, the Warriors don’t seem to need any additional help. In all actuality, too much help may end up being detrimental. Kevin Durant brings a unique style of play that is difficult to guard, but with the talents that the Warriors already have, I just don’t see him meshing well with the team at all. Though the Warriors’ talent is plentiful, only one person can have the ball at a time.
Without Durant, the Thunder may lose 28 points per game, but this will only light a fire under the already combustible point guard Russell Westbrook. In 2014, Durant was sidelined with various injuries for a majority of the season. Because of this, Westbrook’s game reached new heights as he averaged 28.1 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out nearly 9 assists per game.
Oklahoma City may miss out on the lethal 1-2 punch that Westbrook and Durant provided, but they surely won’t be deprived of a superstar talent, or a future MVP.
Nonetheless, this upcoming NBA season will undoubtedly be an exciting one.