2. Turning Brooklyn into a winner reverses Kevin Durant’s legacy
Full disclosure: I am one of the 2.8 percent of NBA fans who was not in any way bothered by Kevin Durant exercising the rights granted to him in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to sign with any team he so chose in 2016.
But Durant’s reputation and legacy have taken a severe flogging since he decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors in July 2016.
Former players criticized the decision to team up with Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ band of All-Stars. He was declared soft, a traitor, a weak person looking for the easy way to getting a ring after falling short with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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Because it’s never been mentioned anywhere ever before, Durant and the Thunder were eliminated by Curry and the Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals after Oklahoma City took a 3-1 lead in the series.
So to many observers, Durant’s two NBA titles and two Finals MVP awards are less than legitimate.
Why does that matter?
Because there may not be a player — certainly not a legitimate superstar player — in the NBA who is more conscious of how he is perceived publicly.
I mean, when you’re a former NBA MVP and you’re taking to social media to engage in one-on-one defenses of yourself in arguments with Bongo2052511 on Twitter, you might not be the most secure in your place in the hierarchy of things. Just sayin’.
That’s where the Brooklyn Nets come in. NBA titles? None to be found. Heck, the Nets won 52 games in 2001-02 and that’s their high-water mark since coming to the NBA from the old American Basketball Association in 1976.
Make the Nets a champion and Kevin Durant’s legacy is completely reversed. Heck, make the Nets a relevant contender and Kevin Durant’s legacy is completely reversed.
For a player as self-aware of his image as Durant appears to be, that might be an attractive option.