Golden State Warriors: Should Kevin Durant Stay or Should He Go

Multi-platinum rhythm & blues recording artist, Trey Songz, once serenaded a female fan, with his at the time hit single “I gotta go”, which lyrics include “I do not want to leave, but I got to go right now”. This soul searching, emotional tune, may provide the quintessential background music, the moment basketball extraordinaire Kevin Durant, sits down to discuss free agency with his current team, the Golden State Warriors, following their appearance in this year’s 2019 NBA finals.

Without question, tough, tough decision whichever path he ultimately chooses. Humbly, I believe it is a legacy play either way. Whether he determines to stay or elects to move on to play for another team. I know as of this morning Kevin Durant traveled to Toronto, Canada for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. A match-up between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors.

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Durant is 6’9″ 240 lbs, he can handle the ball and get to anywhere on the court comfortably. His offensive arsenal and length (wingspan of a 7 footer) creates an immediate mismatch from the free throw line down to the basket. His mid-range game around the free throw line is deadly! He can shoot the 3-point shoot effortlessly, and he even has the Ice Cube Big 3, 4-point ball range. An absolute offensive juggernaut and has made impactful strides on defense.

I must admit, I am being funny, but not being funny with my song selection for Kevin “KD” Durant. It is well documented, he is sensitive about certain narratives in the media pertaining to his previous basketball decisions. Unfairly or justified, given his supremely polished basketball skill set, most fans and media personnel, have expectations of his decision making powers will be on the same accelerated course as reflected in his basketball abilities. Although, at the time, Durant was only 28 years old.

Now, Durant is a few years older (30 and soon to be 31 in September), has a couple of NBA championships, and has multiple NBA Finals MVP’s, along with being the recipient of the NBA regular season MVP.  With respects to money, he has more than he can spend, and more to come. In addition, his current team Golden State Warriors, are in the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year. They are favorites to win another title.

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Regarding his decision to leave OKC for Golden State, Durant has truly fulfilled all of his desires regarding accolades in the NBA. Most notably, acquiring championship rings which are paramount with respects to his legacy narrative and what spot ultimately he will occupy on the all-time great list of pantheon players in NBA history. In hindsight, Durant did what was best for him and his family, plus his basketball legacy.

Now, the question that only Kevin Durant can answer himself is, what is next. Off the court, if he stays he can deepen his relationships with the sharpest minds in Silicon Valley. Many of whom are stationed at the epicenter of all future evolutions of technology advancements.  Basketball-wise, if he stays, Golden State will continue to be in a position to continue their dynasty run. Thus he can play for and continue being the best player on the greatest team in NBA history?

Individually, if Durant stays, it is not difficult to imagine that Durant could surpass the undisputed G.O.A.T. himself, Michael “MJ” Jordan, in championship rings, of which Jordan has six. Equipping Durant with a perpetual rebuttal, anytime all-time great former Los Angeles Laker, Kobe Bryant(5 rings) or “MJ” is either in his company or their names are mentioned. Knowing “MJ” and Bryant, they would unapologetically say to Durant “we would have never joined a team we were up 3-1, especially when they won an NBA championship the previous year.  That is why in our eyes, Kevin Durant you will be eternally penalized a legacy tax”.

That’s the elephant in the room and it is pink, concerning Durant’s decision this summer. Will he, in most people’s eyes, settle for the least turbulent route of staying? If so, he will continue to win with 3 other future NBA Hall of Fame players. Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. All, just won a championship without Kevin Durant the previous year to Durant’s arrival to the team.

By the way, these are not your average Hall of Famers neither. Curry will go down as the greatest shooter to ever lace up his sneakers in NBA history. While Klay Thompson will always be in the greatest shooter ever conversation. In fact, fans and media gave them the unforgettable nickname “Splash Brothers”, due to their grotesquely accurate shooting proficiency.

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With the abundance of talent flooding the Golden State roster, especially with the addition of perennial NBA all-star DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, who in most NBA circles, is considered one of the top 2 big men in the league. With all that said, and factoring Durant is arguably the best player in the entire league, further questions why would he want to remain.

Like the spirit of Michael ”MJ” Jordan and Kobe Bryant in this article mentioned, “If Durant stays, even if he wins additional multiple championships with Golden State, Durant will be penalized in the circle of all-time greats with a legacy tax”. Durant staying with the Golden State Warriors is like a man who can afford his own house. However, elects to live with roommates and everyone constantly asks him “when are you going to get your own place?”

Durant may still have trepidation accepting the challenge of winning elsewhere. Especially based on the bad memories from his experience in OKC. In the words and more so the sentiments of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson “Tis better to loved and lost than to never loved at all”. OK. OK. I admit, maybe a bit of a stretch. However, Durant should listen to the late great multi-talented music artist and actress, Aaliyah “if first, you do not succeed, pick yourself up and try it again”. Whether Durant stays or goes, he will be fine.

How do you feel about Kevin Durant and his decision? Should he stay with the Golden State Warriors or go? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Jamal on Twitter @Jamalburke9.

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