Hey everyone! This post is my first and probably only post solely about basketball, but I really felt the need to write it. Feel free to ignore it if you like.
Kevin Durant was probably my favorite player at one point. I loved his game so much! I remember watching him play for the University of Texas and clearly there was something special about him. To be a guy with that much length and yet be as explosive as he is while also possessing such touch and finesse.
Watching him start out on the Supersonics/Thunder was so much fun. You couldn’t help but root for that team. They progressed over the course of several years and with Durant/Westbrook/Harden they became serious contenders. They took a 3-1 series lead vs. the powerhouse Golden State Warriors in the 2015-2016 season and it looked like KD was finally going to get his shot at a ring, and then it happened. They somehow blew that 3-1 lead and lost in 7. That was a heartbreaker. Then came the much bigger heartbreaker…
KD joined that very team that had beaten them when they were so close to the next level. So many basketball fans wanted to see that talented Thunder team finish what they were so close to the previous season. We don’t always get what we want though. KD joined a team that finished 73-9 on their own in the previous season. He had his reasons I’m sure. The Warriors were an insanely fun team and winning is a great feeling. So many of us hated him for it though. We saw it as soft and an easy path to rings when others have had to grind it out to get theirs. I went from one of his biggest fans to one of his biggest haters.
It was hard to hate him, honestly. I still loved his game. I still loved how close he was to his mother. I had no real reason not to like him, other than the fact that he made a decision that I wouldn’t have made. Still, I wanted nothing more than for him and the loaded up Warriors to fall flat on their faces.
Fast forward to last night. The Warriors back in the finals, down 3-1. KD hasn’t played ball in about a month due to a calf injury. The Warriors rolled through their playoff opponents prior to Toronto. KD has to listen to the chatter. “See, they don’t even need KD. He’s not that valuable.” Anybody that watches knows it’s nonsense, but to hear it still has to hurt the man. Truth is, I liked hearing it. I wanted KD to never feel fully satisfied for joining the Warriors.
Back to this down 3-1 thing… clearly the Warriors need Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant steps up and suits up, though not at 100%. That takes guts, especially for a guy who’s about to be a free agent and probably the most coveted free agent since LeBron James. He has much to risk, but he does it anyway. Truth is, he’d have personally been better off for letting the Warriors lose 4-1 without him. It would have showed that he IS the key piece to that team and that without him they couldn’t do it. That would have shut some naysayers (like me) up.
KD came out last night lighting it up, in typical KD fashion. The Warriors were scary again. Then it happened. I knew right away and it made me sick. He tore his achilles. I think when you’ve experienced it, it’s pretty easy to recognize it. He literally gave it all for his team and how can anybody hate that? You can’t.
So, that’s why I felt the need to write this apology to Kevin Durant. He’s done his time dealing with the haters and now he has one less hater to deal with.
I wish him the best of luck in his recovery. I know he’ll put in the work to get back and for basketball’s sake, I hope that he comes back to 100%.