People have praised the Warriors for signing Kevin Durant in their offseason, but Golden State may not be quite as good as basketball fans think they will be. Kevin Durant is an incredible talent, however his presence in Oakland does not insure another championship. The Golden State Warriors may have taken a step back by adding him. The top reasons that Durant will not work with the Warriors are listed below.
The Same Player
By signing Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have in essence signed a different version of the exact same player that they already have in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Granted, he is a bigger, more athletic version of the Warrior guards, but he is the same player. Though Durant is longer, more explosive, and equally as skilled as Curry and Thompson he takes exactly the same types of shots that they do. And, under pressure he tends to pull up for difficult hero ball shots just like Step and Klay instead of playing through the offense or attacking the rim. The Warriors needed size and athleticism under the basket. They needed shot blocking and rebounding. They should have signed a guy with defined post moves to get easy shots in isolation, because they needed a bigger inside presence. Instead of chasing Hassan Whiteside, a guy who covers those needs, they brought in Durant who just gives them more perimeter scoring.
Who Gets the Credit
If Golden State wins a title next year, who gets the credit for the ring? This a league full of egos. Durant is a former MVP. Curry is a two-time MVP, the reigning MVP, and the only unanimous MVP in the history of MVP voting. Thompson may be a better shooter than both of these guys even though he has yet to join the 50/40/90 club. When they win games, who takes the credit for the victories? The Warriors won before Durant arrived. But, Durant is decidedly a better athlete than either Curry or Thompson. He brings size and versatility to the Warriors, and he makes them better on paper. But, what happens if they lose games? Who takes the blame? Durant is in a position where he could be the scapegoat if Golden State fails to win a championship, and not be recognized as the reason that they won if they win a ring. And, that alludes to yet another dilemma that the Warriors face.
Winning Isn’t Everything
The Warriors could win a championship next year and not be considered one of the best teams ever. Even if Golden State brings another title to the bay next year, they still face possible scrutiny. How well they play is just as important as them winning games. If the Warriors struggle to win games in the beginning of the season, Durant will be blamed which could cause them to stress and play worse. And, even if they rally to win a title, the season could be deemed mediocre with the talent that they have assembled. To quantify the signing of Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors would have to challenge their own NBA record and win a championship. Winning multiple championships is the only way that the move makes sense for Kevin Durant. His reputation will take a hit for running to the team that knocked him out of the playoffs in 2016.
Who Takes the Last Shot
In a perfect basketball world, stars would all check their egos in an effort to achieve a goal bigger than themselves. Two MVPs and two budding superstars could share the basketball and put forth the first lossless season in NBA history in this magical world. Anyone could feasibly take and make a game winner with good ball movement if there were no reputations and no egos. But, this is a league built on egos, and the great players are always a little arrogant. This team has a former MVP who could be the best pure basketball player in the world, the winner of the last two MVP awards and the best pure shooter in history to this point, a wing that may eventually challenge his MVP for the title of best shooter in NBA history, and one of the most versatile big men offensively and defensively that the league has seen in the last five to ten years. When the game is on the line, who will get the last shot? And, does that choice cause dissension in the team when the player misses that shot? A team has to be focused and in unison to win a championship, and too many egos have brought down teams with just as much talent as the Golden State Warriors.