I really hate the Golden State Warriors.
For the past three summers I’ve watched my Cleveland Cavaliers battle it out against the supposed “greatest team of all time.” I’ve had to watch Stephen Curry chew on his mouth guard; Draymond Green flail, kick and trash talk; and Andrew Bogut and Zaza Pachulia set clearly illegal moving screens against the Cavs’ guards. Now, I’m watching Kevin Durant take the easy way out to chase a ring.
Last summer, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson questioned LeBron James’ strength setting off a historic comeback that finished with LeBron bringing the city of Cleveland its first championship in 52 years.
The question that LeBron is soft — especially coming from Steph and Klay — is ridiculous. LeBron grew up poor and was raised by a single mother. Basketball was a way out of Akron for LeBron. Steph and Klay are both the children of former NBA players.
Steph and Klay never got evicted from a house or had to sleep on a friend’s couch because their mother was out of work, unlike LeBron. His story is one of using hard work and natural talent to get out of a bad situation. Steph and Klay’s stories are ones of growing up in NBA gyms.
Kevin Durant grew up in a similar situation as LeBron, with a single mother in a poor urban area, but his arrival in Oakland and any rings he wins with Golden State will come with an asterisk because he took the easy way out.
Sports media has been writing about how Kevin Durant has become a better shooter and passer since he joined the Warriors. How he is fighting the demons of his previous Finals appearance with Oklahoma City in 2012 when LeBron and the Miami Heat beat the Thunder in five games.
Of course, it seems like he is playing better. But while he had James Harden and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, they weren’t anything close to the players they are today. Now, he is playing with three other all-stars, a two-time MVP and a defensive first-team member. You could put anyone on the Warriors and they would seem better.
If Durant finally gets his first ring and the rest of the Warriors get their second, it will always be the team that needed four Olympic gold medalists, two of the greatest shooters of all time, three collective MVP awards and a number of other accolades just to beat a 32-year-old LeBron James.
If Durant doesn’t get his ring this year, he will always be remembered as the player who joined the greatest team of all time and couldn’t even win.
LeBron’s legacy was cemented when he lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy for Cleveland last year. Kevin Durant’s legacy could also be cemented this year, but I’m not so sure it will be in a positive way.
However the Finals ends this year, I do know one thing: I can’t stand Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.