When you are at the pinnacle of something, you have peers that want your spot. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are less than a month removed from being crowned NBA Champions and the rest of the NBA is already working on ways to dethrone them.
Exhibit A: The Golden State Warriors adding Kevin Durant.
Kevin Durant joining Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson has NBA fans drooling over what this group of players could potentially accomplish on the floor together. On paper, the addition of Durant makes the Warriors look as though they could average 140 points per game. The likelihood of that happening is slim, but as long as they stay healthy the Warriors will be one of the most exciting teams to ever watch.
The Warriors will likely make a run to the NBA Finals again next year, but this move is much bigger for Durant than it is the Warriors. Everyone who wants to succeed needs to make tough decisions. This was by far the biggest decision Kevin Durant has ever had to make as an NBA player. Durant was Oklahoma City’s baby and he grew to be an MVP both on and off the court for that organization. But sometimes you outgrow your beginnings, learn from them, take them with you and use them in your next endeavor. Just like many of us out there, KD was looking to put himself in a better position and take the next step in his career. But leaving a place you call home is always emotional, and it was - for sure - not an easy call for Kevin to make.
It is going to be interesting to see how Steve Kerr and the Warriors' coaching staff use Durant in their system. We need not forget that there is only one ball on the court. Durant is a clear upgrade from Harrison Barnes and will shoot the lights out, but Kerr can’t have Durant standing in the corner taking jumps shots all game. Durant is too talented and you have to take advantage of those skills. What Kerr has working for in his favor is that the Warriors have no qualms about sharing the basketball. When the Warriors have possession the ball is moving, and as long as KD sees that the ball has got to move the Warriors could smash through their ceiling.
With this acquisition the Warriors most definitely look like they will be heading back to the NBA Finals, but the games still have to be played. The Warriors will be tested by teams at times during the regular season and the NBA Championship is not handed out to the team that acquired the biggest name in free agency. If last season is any indication, the Warriors should have no problem working Durant into the rotation during the regular season. The reason Durant wanted to play for the Warriors is simply because they have the grit of champions, something Oklahoma City did not have.
Safe to say, as if it was not before - the future looks bright for the Warriors.