Tha Sports Junkies 101

Kevin Durant Heads To Oakland

Kevin Durant Warner Bros. Entertainment via Flickr


Kevin Durant is now a member of the Golden State Warriors. If you listen closely, you can hear the breaking hearts of NBA fans across the country.

It didn’t seem like it was possible. All week, reports were coming out indicating that he was impressed with the Warriors, how he was seriously considering them, and how he was open to leaving. Even with all that, his decision to actually go to Oakland has left everyone shocked. Oklahoma City was his home, and Russell Westbrook was his brother. They had a relationship that was all too well documented. On some occasions, they were back and forth on the court but they genuinely did care for each other. Leaving that, and the organization that drafted him, looked like a long shot.

Objectively, this was a great move for the Golden State Warriors. They just paired two all-time great scorers with each other. Not to mention the supporting cast they have around them is the best in the League. It’s hard to find fault with their decision to pick up Durant. Every team in the League would have been happy to have just been in the running to land him as a free agent, let alone steal him away from Oklahoma.

As a piece in their system, Kevin Durant fits right in with Golden State’s style of play. He can knock down shots from just about anywhere and can switch onto just about any position. Their “deathball” lineup is going to be something to behold next year. Figuring out how to stop that is going to be the first order of business for any real contender.

It isn’t all just rainbows for the Warriors. With the excitement and allure of Kevin Durant, Wardell Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all playing together, it’s easy to forget basketball is only played with one ball. Getting touches for that many people is going to be a task. If you try to stagger rotations with that type of firepower, it has the same effect on the rest of the roster. Touches are going to decrease across the board. There are only so many possessions in a game so getting everyone enough touches to keep them happy is going to be a problem.

Winning a lot of games could very easily put that problem to rest. If they come out of the gate firing, morale in the locker room is going to be of the least concern. But that is a big “if”. Integrating that type of talent onto a 73 win team isn’t as simple as hoping it will iron out by the All Star break. Steve Kerr will definitely have his hands full for the first couple of months.

This move makes Golden State the clear favorites for the NBA Championship in the upcoming season. The rest of the League has just been put on notice. Now far and away the best team on paper, making any mistakes against this team could mean a quick exit from the playoffs. Chemistry and fit aside, Durant and Curry are ballers. No lead is safe heading into the fourth quarter. No run is palpable if they are hitting shots. Golden State is poised to set the highest bar for success the NBA has ever seen.

With Kevin Durant finally committed to a team, the rest of the rosters in the League will begin to round out. Money can now be spent in an attempt to sign middle tier free agents such as Harrison Barnes. Everything will go back to “business as usual” but the implications of this signing will still be felt for the remainder of his tenure in Golden State. Every move has to be made in accordance with stopping Golden State. There is no way around them now.