So Kevin Durant is moving to Oakland. The #Decision has been made, the paperwork has been signed, the deal is done. Golden State will now begin a dynasty, they will go for the undefeated season, they will win the Finals for the next five years and the team will go down among the legends of the sport. Steph Curry will score 30pts per game and get 10 assists, feeding Durant’s 40pts. Klay will chip in with 25 and Iguodala will put in 20 and get his 10 rebounds a game. This is how it will be so there’s really no point in watching for drama over the next five years. Just enjoy the show because we know who is going to win.
Or do we?
What has been the driver of Golden State’s success? Sure, Curry and Thompson and the rest of the crew have been superb but that hasn’t been the key. Rather the main ingredient has been an underdog mentality. “We are underrated”…”Steph doesn’t get the respect he deserves”…”They think we don’t deserve to be in the same category as the Bulls”.
Durant changes that. Golden State now has no excuse not to win. Rather than the opportunity to prove people wrong they now have the pressure to prove people right. With expectations so high, it only makes sense that they might falter. And we’ve seen this happen in the past: look at how Dwayne Wade fell off from superstar to role player when LeBron went to Miami. Or how much better LeBron plays when he feels compelled to carry his team to victory. Or how Draymond Green took on the media when he said that what they were saying about Curry was “slander”.
No longer. Now the Warriors are not warriors but expected victors. This is an entirely different mindset and we would not be surprised to see them miss out on the Finals in 2017.
In other news, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Aries Merritt will be attempting to qualify for the US team again this weekend…only nine months after a major kidney transplant. While he struggled and clipped a few hurdles in the race, watching him back in action is a testament to the true Olympic spirit. These are the stories that people should be talking about, not the politics of it all.
Whether or not he ultimately qualifies, it shows how someone can be knocked back and with perseverance achieve goals. Goals may be reset, objectives recalibrated, but ultimately Merritt was able to race in front of the Hayward Field faithful one more time…and that should be celebrated.