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Kevin Durant to the Warriors: Good or Bad for the NBA?


Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via

Over this summer, Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors in the off-season. In the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors came back from their own 3-1 deficit against Durant when he was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Most would call this unfair: a team that consists of basketball stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Igoudola, and now Kevin Durant? On paper, this team is destined to win not one, but multiple rings. History has a funny way of repeating itself.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron James was a free agent with the decision of either staying in Cleveland with a team that just lost to the Boston Celtics for the second time in the past three years, or taking his talents elsewhere to form a superteam. James ended up doing the latter, and joined Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. This team was successful, winning two Finals, going to four straight championships, and providing endless highlight reels of alley-oops between James and Wade. After the Heat lost in 2014, LeBron went back home, and ended up delivering on his promise of winning a NBA championship for his hometown this past summer. Other than the Cleveland Cavaliers’ unprecedented return from a 3-1 deficit for the first time in history by defeating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals, not much was happening in the basketball world

Some superteams however, have not won rings or were not successful. Take the year James and Bosh went to the Heat. They lost in the Finals against the Dallas Mavericks their first year on the team. No disrespect to the Mavs at all, but anyone can tell you that the Heat were way better than the Mavs. It seems the Heat’s only issue was chemistry. The same goes for the 2004 Lakers that had Shaq, Kobe, Gary Payton, and Karl Malone who ended up losing to the Detroit Pistons in the finals. Chemistry is very important because basketball is a team sport. Individually, players can take over games and will their way to victory, but it is teams that collectively work together that win championships.

I believe that Durant’s move to the Warriors is both good and bad for the NBA. His move benefits the NBA as a whole because more countries and more people will tune in with the hopes of their losing, or with the hopes of their making history. Obviously this means more money for the NBA organization that could help in the long run, considering the sudden skyrocket of the salary cap, awarding players such as Mike Conley five-year, $153 million contracts.

This past summer, the Warriors won 73 games, eclipsing the legendary team consisting of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 NBA regular season. Curry is definitely the NBA’s “poster child” at the moment, and adding a player such as Kevin Durant to his team will only invite more people to their stands. Even the exhibition game between the Warriors and the Raptors on October 1 sold out within minutes. The NBA is going to be making a lot of money off of the Warriors.

However, inside the NBA, the Warriors are painted in a different light. Based on Brian Windhorst’s recent article, the Warriors are viewed as “arrogant” by numerous NBA coaches and organizations. Seeing that on multiple occasions, Andrew Bogut or Thompson, among other players, were celebrating seconds before Curry even shot the ball, I agree with this statement. Diehard NBA fans and basketball players alike would agree that Durant moving to the Warriors is a “weak move.” Why join a team that beat you? Why not use that as motivation to improve for the next year? The Thunder was up 3-1 after all, the Thunder had the talent to defeat the Warriors, they just lacked the needed chemistry.

People worldwide are saying this move makes the NBA “boring,” because it will most likely be the Warriors vs. Cavs in the finals for the next couple years. The talent is stacked in the Warrriors’ favor, but we haven’t seen the Warriors on the court yet. Regardless, there is a red dot on the Warriors, and every team will be coming for them. The Warriors are somewhat painted as a villain in the NBA and this could prove to be too much pressure for them.

I believe that this NBA season will be a defining year for the next generation of players. While I would rather see Durant stay put, and not join an already stacked team, he can make his own decision, just as it was LeBron’s in 2010. The hope is that this does not become a common trend; where too many superstars joining the same team and leaving small market teams in the dust. It’s more competitive when superstars are spread out, as it becomes hard to pinpoint what team will come out on top. However, with Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder instead of leaving like Durant did, and other teams vowing to go after the Warriors, this is going to be an interesting season, one the NBA season hasn’t experienced in a while.

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Kevin Durant to the Warriors: Good or Bad for the NBA?