The Mrs. and I

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weak

   So many things to say, where do I begin. I would like to say how grateful and thankful I am for the freedoms we enjoy, for being able to travel freely and do those things without restrictions, and I'm very thankful for those who have gone on before me to enable me to have the things I enjoy. Without them and their sacrifice, me and you would not be where we're at today. Some decisions we face may be to find a new job, relocate for that job, or choosing which team to play for, if you're fortunate enough to have that decision to make. The latter is where this blog leads me to and where most of the discussion will take place. For the few of you that are reading this, you know that sports are a huge part of my life. Without them, I don't know where I would be or what I would be doing with most of my spare time. Sports can give me great joy at times, but it can also put me in a bad mood at times. Now I know that I shouldn't get so involved in them, but I can't help it. Case in point with the news of the day today, as most of you saw the news regarding Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City to go to Golden State. Now before you go blasting me, I am fully aware and fully understand and totally get that he is well within his means to switch teams and play wherever he wants. He has earned that right. My beef with him is not that he switched teams, my beef with him is the team he chose to sign with. The Warriors are fresh off of not one, but two NBA Finals appearances and are only one year removed from winning the championship. Now, Durant says that he's going there to improve his game and to get out of his comfort zone by moving to a new city. Those are both well and fine, but it's pretty convenient that he chose the team with the accolades that I just mentioned. Is it not? He chooses the team with a guy who just won an MVP award, two in a row I believe, one guy was in the running for the defensive player of the year, oh and they just so happen to have new money with this new TV deal that came into effect. They say he took less money but let's be serious here, it's a matter of a few million dollars with respect to the deal he just signed. It really isn't that much of a difference in pay. I don't think that that aspect should even be mentioned. Don't get it twisted, Kevin Durant went to the Golden State Warriors for one purpose and one purpose only: to win a championship. Winning a championship should be every professional athlete's ultimate goal, but at what cost? Do you think he'll get credit if/when the Warriors win a championship? I'm surely not going to give him any. They better win at least one with the lineup they have or it will be a colossal failure. But I am not going to crown them the champions yet, no way. How in the world are they going to coincide when there is only one ball to go around? Their rebuttal is, or will be, "we aren't guys with big ego's, we just want to win". That may be fine and well, but you're telling me that in a competitive game and knowing these guys' competitive natures, that there won't be some serious disagreements and arguments along the way? Durant got testy when Westbrook would come down the floor and jack up a 3 or have the ball in his hands for the whole possession and not pass it. What does he think is gonna happen with this team? Isn't Curry known for running down the floor and jacking up ridiculous 3's from nearly mid-court? Doesn't Thompson take multiple poor, highly contested shots every game? Didn't Green throw a tantrum in these past Finals or Conference Finals when he wasn't getting the ball like he wanted? If Durant got pissed at Westbrook on those occasions, he better brace himself for what's about to happen in this upcoming season. I don't think Curry or Thompson are going to drastically change their games just because Durant is on the team. They will HAVE to learn to play together even more now than they did these past few years, or else they will be a huge flop. I understand that they will have a tremendous starting lineup. no doubt, but tell me who is going to rebound the ball? Who will be the guy down low fending off guys like Steven Adams, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Tyson Chandler, Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Al Horford, Tristan Thompson, when they come in for an offensive rebound? We saw how vital Bogut was for them and how they struggled in those areas when he went down with the injury. They won't have a problem scoring points and their defense will be pretty good, but you can't just try to outshoot or outscore the other team every single time. They have a HUGE target on their backs now and teams will be coming at them so hard every game, regardless of if it's regular season or postseason. By the time they get to the playoffs, they will be so worn down from all the beatings they took during the regular season, they should count on that. I know there will be games where other teams just can't match up with them, so they'll coast through some, but as they saw this last season, winning the most games in the REGULAR SEASON doesn't win you the CHAMPIONSHIP. They actually lost more games in the playoffs than they did all season! So while a lot of people want to give them the championship already, I am not a part of that crowd. I will watch them when they play the Jazz, and I hope that they'll give them a run for their money every time, but I will not care to watch them when they play other teams, aside from Oklahoma City. That brings up another topic here. I cannot wait to see what Russell Westbrook's response to all this is, and I cannot wait to see OKC go up against the Warriors, namely to see Westbrook go up against Durant. He will show him no mercy and will attack him every chance he gets. Steven Adams will not take it lightly on him when he tries to go in for a dunk, either. If I'm them, I would scheme to shut Durant down and make the other guys beat you. So what if you lose? As long as you don't let your former teammate go off on you, I think that's a win. It will be interesting to watch for sure.

   To wrap up, I just want to reiterate my disgust for this type of move. For me, growing up and even to now, whenever I'm playing a sport, whether it be basketball or volleyball, if the team I'm on is stacked and we haven't been challenged, I will voluntarily go to the other team to help them out, go to the "lesser" team, if you will. I hate playing on a team where you don't really have to do much, the other guys on your team are equally as good or better than you, so you're just kinda like window dressing. I want to be pushed, I want to push myself to play hard and beat the other team. There is nothing more satisfying or gratifying, in my opinion, than to be on the "lesser" team and you beat the better team, the team that's expected to win. If I'm playing and there's an odd number between the teams, I'm praying that I'm on the team with fewer players, like if it's 5 on 4. In that scenario, you obviously have to work harder to win, have to run around more to get open, play defense, those types of things, so it's a greater feeling you get when you beat them, versus being on the team with more players and you win, its's like, "Well yeah, we should win because we have more guys on our team". There isn't much gratification in that instance, to me. So with Kevin Durant leaving an already awesome, amazing team in the Thunder, who have been knocking on the door every year to compete for a championship, to go to a team who has already won a championship recently without you, that ruffles my feathers and makes me lose any respect I had for you. Same thing when LeBron left Cleveland for Miami. I was one of his biggest fans before and once he announced he was leaving, there wasn't a player in the NBA that I hated more than him. He is slowly gaining my respect back, but it's taken a while. The same thing will happen with Durant. I know he has no idea who Jordan Porter is, but he has lost my respect and will have to do an awful lot to gain it back.