Kevin Durant left. And it’s time for you to let him go once and for all.
Two time finals MVP Kevin Durant has decided to leave the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets on a 4-year, $164 million deal which will see him join up with former NBA champion Kyrie Irving who has also decided to leave the Boston Celtics and join the Nets on a 4-year $141 million contract. Durant walks away from the Warriors organization with two championships under his belt to go along with two finals MVP trophies. Durant joined the Warriors in the 2016/17 season spending three seasons with the Warriors after nine seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder where he won an MVP and four scoring titles in five years being only the second player to do so. Durant won’t play for his first season with the Nets as he will be recovering from a torn Achilles that he injured in the NBA finals against the eventual champions the Toronto Raptors.
Durant leaving the Warriors for the Nets opened an old fragile wound. Durant didn’t just walk out on the Oakland side like he did Oklahoma back in 2016 Durant allowed the Warriors to get something back in the way of a sign and trade with the Brooklyn side seeing D’Angelo Russell go to the Warriors in return for Durant. When this information reached, the 405 Thunder fans were not too pleased with Durant. Thunder fans have not recovered from his exit, and it shows that time is unlikely to heal this deep wound. In the first season OKC point guard, Russell Westbrook was furious with Durant for how he handled the situation, and it was on full display every time the Thunder would go up against the Warriors.
In the next two seasons, the hatred has seemed to dissipate between Westbrook and Durant as they have been seen laughing together at All-Star weekend and funnily enough alongside now Durant teammate Kyrie Irving. The fans of the Thunder were more than happy to join Westbrook in his hate for Durant, but they have seemed not to be as willing to follow their leader in forgiving the former MVP. It’s been three seasons now since Durant left and the fact Durant is about to be on his second team since his tenure with the Thunder it’s left me asking this question. When is it going to stop? When will Thunder fans let Durant go and appreciate what they have now and not what they use to have?
I have a feeling that no time will heal this wound. Durant was the golden boy. He was supposed to be the loyal one that will forever stay in Oklahoma City and eventually bring a championship to the 405. Westbrook was always the one that was supposed to eventually chase the bright lights of a bigger market in the way of his hometown of Los Angeles California where he could further his passion in fashion and maybe someday go into the entertainment industry, but that was not the case in reality.
Now the Thunder have retooled and brought in Paul George to partner with Westbrook you would think Thunder fans will be excited and ambitious about their chances to eventually bring the elusive first championship to OKC, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Thunder fans can’t seem to a shake the feeling of abandonment they have with Durant, and it’s making them lose their appreciation for what they still have. Proof of this was after the Thunder were once again eliminated in the first round of the playoffs there was a significantly noisy part of the Thunder fan base asking the question of is it time to trade Russell Westbrook?
The thought of trading the one man that has never wavered in his loyalty for the organization and its fan base was insane to me as we are three seasons removed from the same man saving the organization from obscurity. Trading Westbrook shouldn’t be a casual thing to throw out into the NBA universe. Trading Westbrook is the absolute final option, and even then you should reluctantly propose the idea. Westbrook isn’t Kevin Durant, and to certain sections of the fanbase, I’m not sure they will ever be able to accept that, and that’s a shame.
It’s time to let go of Kevin Durant Thunder fans. He is never coming back, and you need to accept that deep down. I’m sorry. Don’t let these last prime years of Russell Westbrook go unappreciated just because he is what the other guy was supposed to be.