Kevin Durant : The Time Is Now
WRITTEN BY KARAN TELI
LeBron James. His all-time great legacy is already cemented. Top 10 all time. Top 5. Top 3? Greatest ever? Okay, maybe not; we’ve still got His Airness. Overtaking MJ and becoming the greatest scorer in NBA Playoff history is nothing to brush over, especially considering LeBron is considered a ‘pass first, make his teammates better’ kind of player. But accomplishments like that are not entirely celebrated until retirement. But even MJ didn’t have to overcome the hurdle LeBron James has in front of him.
The Finals we all knew were going to happen is finally here. After 1340 regular season and playoff games, filled with what some may call glimpses of excitement (Russ v Harden), including a cakewalk to the NBA finals for both teams, we’ve finally arrived at the Finals. 12-0 and 12-1; no challenge at all for either team. One lucky win for Boston doesn’t classify as a challenge. They haven’t even hit their peak. Now it’s time.
When the Superteam was formed, they were always going to be expected to win. That hasn’t changed. The pressure is on them, and the pressure is on LeBron James to outdo them all and have an NBA Finals that even Michael Jordan didn’t produce. The last 2 League MVPs team up, with the sole purpose of dethroning the NBA’s self-proclaimed King.
Now imagine still they don’t get the crown. What if Cleveland repeats? NOW where is LeBron ranked in history? Greatest ever? On paper the most stacked team we’ve seen, maybe in NBA history, if not at least in the last 25 years, and they still can’t Dethrone King James?
While that would take one of the greatest sport performances of all time, and it would be fun to see, realistically, it’s not happening. Which brings me to the man of the hour; Kevin Durant.
KD and Steph are both putting on a clinic in these playoffs, but Steph’s got his ring; so do Klay and Draymond. KD doesn’t though. We know LeBron is going to play probably the best basketball of his LIFE, but he’ll also be defending Kevin Durant. KD better answer that challenge.
‘Win or lose, I 100% made the right decision coming here.’ Can you imagine the scrutiny LeBron would have received if he had said this prior to an NBA Finals? Kevin Durant is trying to take the pressure off of himself, because he knows the obstacle of overcoming King James will not be easy. But it’s not going to work. The entire regular season has just been a preview for these finals; the pressure isn’t going anywhere.
We don’t want to see Steph and Klay run the show while you average 15 points, but still win the Finals. YOU better be the reason that championship comes to the Bay area. Let Steph be Steph; KD HAS TO BE KD. In the past, when the pressures on, KD has tended to fold, and Russ wasn’t able to bail him out. Russ became the scapegoat. ‘He shoots too much’, ‘he’s too selfish’. Russ is gone now. If KD folds this time, Golden State are well equipped to bail him out.
But we don’t care. We don’t want to see you bailed out. We want to see you come at LeBron and TAKE the crown. We want to look back the Finals and say ‘okay, he joined a 73-9 team and took the easy way out, but he earned his ring.’ Nothing else will do. The 2nd best player in the world doesn’t get to ride his way to a championship and a legacy. You went to Golden State because you needed more help, not to be the help. It’s on Kevin Durant to take the Cleveland Cavaliers out and add NBA Champion and NBA Finals MVP to his already impressive resume. Anything less than that; you think the criticism LeBron got after the choke job VS Dallas in 2011 was big, it’ll be nothing compared to what Kevin Durant will receive.