Tag Archives: Golden State Warriors

NBA Quarterfinals: Worst to First

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???

The NBA Playoffs will get underway on Saturday, and hot off the press after last night’s action, we have a full slate of first round match-ups to sink our teeth into. While this particular writer is shedding a tear because the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t even come close to making it (again), this season’s playoffs promise to be one of the more entertaining ones in recent memory. The Boston Celtics were able to snag the 1 seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since their 2008 title run; a huge milestone in the Brad Stevens era and one that will likely raise the expectations of Boston fans as the playoffs get underway.

There are four teams in this year’s playoffs that didn’t make it in 2016: The Wizards, Bucks, Bulls and Jazz. The Wizards, Bucks and Bulls all made it back in 2015, but the Jazz haven’t made it since 2012 when they were swept by the Spurs in the first round. With all of the changes that happened last off-season, we’re in for one insane playoff stretch, and it all starts with the first round on Saturday. We took a look at all of the matchups and ranked them by interest level, so when you sit down in front of your T.V. on Saturday, you’ll know what to turn on. Without further ado, here is the 2017 NBA Playoffs first round match-ups, ranked from worst to first.

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  1. Toronto Raptors (3) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6)

Meh.

The Toronto Raptors did pretty much what you’d expect them to during the 2017 season. They kept up with the Celtics and Cavaliers and contended for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, eventually finishing third and drawing a matchup with the Bucks. The Raptors do have some new faces this season that they can use to their advantage in this series; primarily Serge Ibaka.

The key for Toronto is going to be their ability to shut down the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The bigger guys on the Raptors’ roster are going to have a handful trying to defend Giannis, but if they’re able to slow him down and Kyle Lowry has a good series, there’s no reason why the Raptors can’t win this in 6 games. It could be one of the more competitive series in the first round, but aside from Antetokounmpo, there’s just not enough star power to make this an interesting series.

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  1. San Antonio Spurs (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

This feels like a movie we’ve seen before. These two teams have squared off in a playoff series four out of the last seven seasons, and the tread on the old tire of interest is wearing a little thin.

The highlight in this match-up is the battle of the brothers. While Marc and Pau Gasol may have both passed their prime by a few years, it adds a little bit of intrigue to a series that will otherwise be overshadowed by a great Western Conference series that we’ll get into later. The Grizzlies upset the Spurs as the 8 seed back in 2011, however, and it would take a shocker like that to get us to turn our heads away from some of the other great action going on around the NBA.

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  1. Washington Wizards (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Well, here we are again. Another year, another Hawks team that hovers in the middle of the playoff race and will be gone by the Conference Finals. Of course, the big difference this year is that they have Dwight Howard. I don’t see many people out there pushing the idea that Dwight Howard (of all people) is somehow going to push Atlanta over the hump, and this is a Wizards team that could be poised to knock them out early. After missing the playoffs last season, Washington is the four seed this year, earning home court advantage and a chance to knock off a very beatable Hawks team.

The Wizards went 3-1 against the Hawks during the regular season, the most recent of those being a thrilling 104-100 victory back on March 22. If Dwight Howard can somehow wake up from the five year nap he’s been taking and make a meaningful impact for this team in the playoffs, we might have something to talk about here for the Hawks. If not, it will be business as usual, and they can start making their tee times by the end of the month.

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  1. Boston Celtics (1) vs. Chicago Bulls (8)

The Chicago Bulls’ motley crew of Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo did enough to squeak in to the playoffs at the last second as the 8 seed. At different points in their career, all of these guys were dynamic players who could shift a playoff series just by stepping on the court. Butler is still that player, Rondo can impress occasionally, and Wade, when he’s not battling injuries, is a serviceable veteran player who can hit big shots when it matters.

The end result of all of these things is a team that is often inconsistent and frustrating, but if everything were to click at once, they could make this a series. That is going to mean slowing down Isaiah Thomas, however, and that is no easy task to say the least. Thomas is averaging 28.3 PPG in his last ten games, and the Celtics have a renewed sense of confidence after claiming the 1 seed in the east. Although it is a 1 vs. 8 matchup, these two teams split the regular season 2-2, so we could be in for at least a six game series if all goes well for the Bulls.

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  1. Cleveland Cavaliers (2) vs. Indiana Pacers (7)

If the Cavaliers had drawn a first-round match-up with the Bulls, this might be a little bit higher on the list. Of course, we’re always up for watching a great duel between LeBron James and Paul George, but this doesn’t appear to be more than a small roadblock for the Cavaliers. An interesting side note here, however, is that Lance Stephenson is back with the Pacers, and the last time he was in the playoffs, he was whispering sweet-nothings into LeBron’s ear. With that in mind, we ask Lance Stephenson please, give us more great theater like this. I want to turn on SportsCenter and see more of Stephenson trying to get under LeBron’s skin. Yes.

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  1. Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Portland Trailblazers (8)

For the casual NBA fan, the name Jusuf Nurkic might not ring a bell. Nurkic was drafted 16th overall by the Bulls in 2014, then traded to the Nuggets on draft night. Now, standing at 7ft 0in, he is the second tallest player on Portland’s roster, and he could play just enough of a role to make this more than a four game sweep for the Warriors. If Damian Lillard can also put the team on his back, we could be talking about a five or six game series, but don’t hold your breath. Golden State is just getting warmed up.

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  1. Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Utah Jazz (5)

The Los Angeles Clippers are in a weird spot. They have largely underachieved the past few seasons, but in a conference dominated by the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, it’s not like they ever had much of a chance. They’ve been playing very well lately, however, and their starting five are as good as anybody’s in the top of the conference (ok, maybe not the Warriors, but who cares).

The Jazz, on the other hand, are a new product. They last made the playoffs in 2012, and the only holdovers from that team are Alec Burks, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward. The Jazz were sneaky good this season, finishing with a record of 51-31. For comparison, that is the same record the Cavs and Raptors finished with this season. They might not be much compared to the powerhouses of the West, but they could become the little engine that could if they’re able to advance to the second round and steal a few games from the Warriors. Don’t sleep on the Utah Jazz, you heard it here first.

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  1. Houston Rockets (3) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (6)

Now here is the juiciest of juicy match-ups. Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden in what amounts to the MVP-Bowl of playoff series. It’s fun enough watching these two go at it for one game, but the possibility of 4,5,6, or perhaps even 7 make this must-see television for the first round. This is what everyone is going to be talking about. During the regular season series, Houston went 3-1, with both teams averaging well over 100 points in each of the four games (Houston averaged 115, while the Thunder averaged 111).

The fireworks, however, came in their final match-up of the regular season, when the two teams combined for 262 points in a 137-125 Houston victory. The interesting stat in that game? James Harden was Houston’s fourth leading scorer, while Westbrook dropped 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. If they’re able to beat the Thunder and the ever-bucket-draining Westbrook in this series when Harden has a quiet night like they did on March 26th, there just isn’t much wiggle room for the Thunder to be able to take this series. Russ will have to play like a madman, and we’re assuming he will. Will it be enough? Who knows. That’s why they play the games.

 

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NBA All Stars: Who should the starters be?

The NBA All star voting concluded on Monday leaving some people with questions as to how legitimate the voting system has become in the NBA. Golden State Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia has racked up enough votes to possibly become the Western Conference stater at the 5 position. Over 21 million votes have been cast in this years voting, which is a 142% increase from last years game. The starters are determined by voting that is combined from the fans (50%), players (25%), and the media (25%). The starters for the All Star game will be chosen tonight on TNT on a special edition of NBA tip off. We pick who SHOULD start the game.

Eastern conference:

Guards:

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Kyrie Irving

Irving is averaging 23.6 points per game along with 5.6 assists. During the season, Irving has put Lebron in the backseat for some clutch moments including the dagger on Christmas day against Golden State. One of the best young players in the game, Irving is the best point guard in the Eastern Conference.

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Isaiah Thomas

Thomas is averaging 28.7 points per game combined with 6 assists. This season, Isaiah has put the team on his back which has garnered him the nickname “King of the Fourth”. Thomas has taken over games time and time again averaging the most points in the 4th quarter in the NBA.

Frontcourt:

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Lebron James

James is obviously a shoe in to be an all star because he is the BEST player in the league, no questions asked. James is averaging 25.6 points, 8.1 assist, and 7.8 rebounds per game. James can do anything on a basketball court, he has great court vision and superior athletic ability making him the most dangerous player in the game.

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Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak jumped onto the scene last year with some impressive highlights, but this season he has really turned into a fantastic player. Giannis is averaging 23.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has shown is freakish athleticism time and time again this year with highlight reel dunks. The 22 year old has a very bright future.

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Joel Embiid

Embiid is the first draft pick to somewhat look like he is going to pan out like they planned. Embiid is leading the Sixers, averaging 19.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. “The Process” is dominating the game down low.

Western Conference:

Guards:

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James Harden

Harden is my favorite for MVP right now. He’s taken an average Rockets team and made them one of the best teams in the league. Harden is averaging 28.9 points, 11.6 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game. The former backup to Russell Westbrook has moved past him for best point guard in the Western Conference. Harden controls the game and limits his turnovers making everyone around him better.

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Russell Westbrook

There are really no words to explain what Russell Westbrook is doing to the league this year. Although his turnover numbers could be much better, you can’t ignore his stats, 30.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game. Averaging a triple double has been damn near impossible in the NBA. But if he continues down this road, it could go down as one of the best statistical season ever.

Frontcourt:

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Kevin Durant

Durant has received a lot of hate for he offseason move to the Warriors. It has not gone as well as some people imagined, but Durant’s play has been consistent as he had a 40 point outburst last night against his former team in the Oracle. On a team with a ton of scorers, Durant is still averaging 26.7 points per game on top of 4.7 assists and 8.6 rebounds.

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Kawhi Leonard

Arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA, Kawhi Leonard has become THE guy in San Antonio. He is the complete package, an excellent defender, paired with ability to score at will. Leonard has become a top tier player in the West. His stats aren’t indicative of how important he is to the team, with 24.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game.

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Anthony Davis

Davis is a premier player in the NBA. He is the best center in the NBA and is carrying an awful team down in New Orleans. Davis is averaging 28.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. If you could start your franchise with one player, this guy has to be close to the top of the list because he is a fantastic talent in the NBA.

Tune in to NBA Tip off on TNT tonight to see which players receive the honor of starting in this year’s All Star game.

 

NBA Weekend: What to Watch

This weekend, the NBA features a decent slate of games, so if you find yourself bored waiting around for a crazy NFL Sunday, check out some of these match-ups.

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There are several awesome games tonight. The Miami Heat will travel to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers, a matchup that used to be somewhat interesting, but is now just a reminder how quick things change in the NBA. In 2010, Heat vs. Cavs meant LeBron was going to be booed at Quicken Loans Arena. In 2014, LeBron returned to Miami with the Cavaliers to face Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat. Now, Wade is in Chicago, Bosh has no foreseeable NBA future, and James has been back in Cleveland for over 2 years.

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The Toronto Raptors will travel to Boston to face the Celtics, with the Celts trailing the Raptors by 1.5 games in the Atlantic Division. Al Horford missed a crucial game-winning layup earlier this week, so we’ll see if he can rebound against a division rival.

Other games of interest around the league Friday include Rockets at OKC on ESPN, followed by Suns at Lakers.

On Saturday, Miami will tip-off in Chicago, and for the second time Erik Spoelstra will coach against one of his former superstars. The Heat have certainly been placed in a tough position after losing Bosh and Wade in the offseason, and will have to retool if they hope to content in future seasons.

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The Warriors will face the Grizzlies as they look to continue their dominance of the Western Conference, and the Pelicans will travel to LA to face the Clippers on NBATV to round off the Saturday action.

On Sunday, there isn’t a ton of action, but the game that stands out the most is Celtics at Thunder. Russell Westbrook has been on a tear as of late, and the Celtics will be fresh off a home game against the Raptors.

 

NBA: 5 Most Interesting Teams to Watch in 2016-17

Now that September is here, the NBA off-season that brought us more twists and turns than a sketchy carnival ride is nearing a close. Between KD, Derrick Rose, Al Horford and others, there is a whole lot to digest before the 2016-17 season gets underway. Being the inquisitive people we are here at Fan Interference, we set out to rank the 5 most interesting teams to watch in the upcoming season. Keep in mind this isn’t about wins and losses. Just because something is going to be ugly doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to kick back and watch. Why do you think people stop and look at car crashes? Anyways, here are the most interesting teams for the upcoming season.

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5: Boston Celtics

Early on in the off-season, the Celtics were a dark horse pick to land Kevin Durant. When Tom Brady shows up to your free agent meeting, good things usually happen. Though it was reported that Brady’s presence at the meeting had a big impact on Durant, it wasn’t enough to get him in a green uniform. However, the Celtics scored big with the acquisition of Al Horford, a former star on the Atlanta Hawks. While Horford isn’t the superstar that Durant is, he fits in well with the Celtics and coach Brad Steven’s vision. The Celtics are projected to be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference this season, and monitoring Horford as he settles in to the new role will be fun to watch, espescially for the Boston faithful.

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4: Philadelphia 76ers

While it is still entirely plausible that they lose over 60 games, this isn’t the same 76ers of last year. With Ben Simmons coming in as a rookie with much expected of him, the entire dynamic of the Sixers has changed. Their roster reads like a team that will be great in a few years; Jahlil Okafor, Nerlins Noel, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are all very young and have a lot of potential. That last name, Embiid, will be particularly interesting to watch; he hasn’t played in an NBA game since being drafted 3rd overall in 2014. If Embiid can stay healthy and stay away from fast food this season, he could be a major player on a team that is looking to build an identity (and has been since Allen Iverson left).

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3: Chicago Bulls

The big headline here is Dwyane Wade. Nobody expected the king of Miami to leave, including Pat Riley. Additionally, the Bulls brought in Rajon Rondo, who has fallen off to say the least since his glory days with the aforementioned Celtics. With Wade, Rondo and Butler, the Bulls have a cheap version of a Big-3 with some glaring chemistry issues. It is no superteam, heck, maybe not even a good team, but it will be a hell of a lot of fun watching the power struggle between Butler, an incumbent Bull who looks to be the new leader, and Wade, a native of Chicago and 3 time NBA champion. Rondo is always a wild-card, but there might be a sliver of hope that the three of them can hit it off and the Bulls can be a contender in the Eastern Conference.

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2: New York Knicks

The Knicks made waves this offseason by acquiring Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. The running joke here is that this team would’ve been great in 2010, but there could be some upside to the New York Knicks this season. Rose is certainly giving us no shortage of entertainment, claiming that this year’s Knicks are a “super-team”. As if there wasn’t enough pressure on the former MVP to finally start producing on the court again. That being said, if Rose is somehow able to recapture the magic of his MVP season, that would make for a lethal combo with Carmelo Anthony, who is aging but still shows he can produce at a high level.

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1: Golden State Warriors

It’s kind of an anticlimactic number one pick, but the Warriors will just be too damn interesting to ignore. With the addition of Kevin Durant (which is still hard to fully wrap your head around), the Warriors have somehow managed to make themselves even better than they were before. That being said, the Warriors have made a big change that may take some time to come to full fruition. Adding a super star to play with other great players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green may take time to maximize their efficiency. Should the warriors stutter out of the gate, it makes it all the more interesting. Don’t get caught up on wondering if they can win 74 games. They won’t. That will become very apparent early on. My predicton is that the Warriors begin the season around the 20-8 mark. After that, they will hit a stride, but these things take time. Patience, young grasshopper.

The New Kevin Durant

Earlier this week, Kevin Durant told the media that he didn’t get out of bed for days after signing with the Golden State Warriors. Unless he twisted his ankle and couldn’t walk, It’s hard to buy that story.

Durant was completely entitled to choose Golden State and more power to him for doing what he wanted, but amid Gary criticism for his decision, this is nothing more than a plea for sympathy. He wanted to go there. People got upset, but it’s over now. It’s almost like he can’t decide whether he wants to be the villain or the misunderstood hero. Anyways, the dust has settled, Kevin Durant is now a Golden State Warrior, and somehow, a sense of normalcy has returned to the NBA. Now, smoke is pouring out of Steve Kerr’s ears as he figures out how to maximize Durant’s output on the revamped Warriors’ squad.
The honeymoon is over in this new marriage of superstar and super team, and it’s time to go back to work and start paying the bills. Surely, Kerr and his staff already had a rough idea of how they would use Durant before the signing, but now that he’s on board, the real planning can begin. Everyone knows it won’t be easy to get maximum production from everyone when there are 4 great players on the court at once, but the trick is to ensure that each of them are placed in a position where they can thrive. Unfortunately, that trick is, well, tricky.

We saw firsthand in the 2010-11 season what it looks like when a super team is still ironing out the kinks, as the Miami Heat struggled out of the gate. You may recall there were even rumors that they could fire Erik Spoelstra, a coach who went on to win two titles in the big three era.

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On the court, the problem begins with chemistry. While Steph Curry in the past two seasons alone has solidified himself among the top three players in the league, it is impossible to know how he will be affected by the presence of another superstar. Durant’s arrival could place Curry between a rock and a hard place, having to choose between asserting himself over Durant as the alpha dog, or conceding and settling for second best. Curry is a player that thrives when he gets in a groove. How many times have we seen stretches in the third or fourth quarter where you think “no way he will hit this one”, and he does it. Every. Damn. Time. With Durant getting his share of touches, maybe there is less room there for Curry to get in that rhythm.

Aside from the starters, it will be interesting to watch how the bench performs under these new changes. In acquiring Kevin Durant, the Warriors have sacrificed depth for dynamite. When their stars are clicking, it’s hard to make a case that anyone could beat Golden State, but suppose they lose a star for a prolonged period of time. Is their bench capable of picking up the slack? It’s not that their bench is necessarily bad, but compared to the stellar bench of the past two seasons that aided them in back-to-back Finals appearances, it certainly pales in comparison.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the Golden State Warriors out of the gate will be keeping everyone’s ego in check. Despite everyone on the Warriors being completely cool with Durant, having 4 all-stars on one roster lends itself to an ego conflict. It could be like the movie Rat Race. You have all these hilarious actors but at the end of the day, it’s kind of an awful product once you put it all together. People have compared the Warriors lineup to an all-star or Olympic lineup, and while that is great on the court, there could be issues.

Picture Team USA playing an entire season of basketball together. A lot of talent, but also a lot of ego. What if Durant misses a few game winning shots and Curry gets upset because he feels he would’ve made them? Everything is rainbows and butterflies before the season starts, but seeing how the Warriors react to conflict will be very interesting.

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Speaking of Olympics, it will be interesting to watch Durant have the opportunity to play with Thompson and Green on Team USA. You think Steve Kerr is texting Coach K throughout the entire Olympics with a “psst, try this play with KD and Draymond”? Those guys are going to look really good against the rest of the world (who obviously isn’t very good). It could be a preview of what’s to come for the Golden State.

Kevin Durant Joins Warriors, Heads Explode

In the wise words of Drake and Future, what a time to be alive.

The Kevin Durant sweepstakes turned out to be a lot more than anyone bargained for, including the Celtics, who actually ended up with a legitimate shot at Durant, making use of New England icon God Tom Brady in their pitch. After the sudden acquisition of Al Horford and rumors that the Celtics were targeting Jimmy Butler, the team and its fans were quickly thrown into a 24-hour period of complete free agent frenzy, the likes of which we haven’t seen since, oh that’s right, never. One of the more bizarre yet somewhat expected moments of the Durant extravaganza was when reports surfaced that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer actually cried during the team’s pitch. Real, genuine tears. I guess we should expect as much from a guy who sits with the fans and behaves like your obnoxious friend who paints his stomach every time he goes to a Patriots game.

The past week has certainly been one of the more interesting ones in recent memory for the NBA fan, as free agency heated up in ways we haven’t seen since 2010, which was highlighted by LeBron James and his polarizing free agency selection, famously aired in prime time as “The Decision”.

That was then, this is now, and Kevin Durant has flipped the basketball world upside down by taking his talents to Golden State to play with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Let me repeat this for emphasis. Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the NBA today, the 2014 league MVP, will be joining forces with the splash brothers and Draymond Green, forming what appears on paper to be one of the most skilled lineups in NBA history.

It’s a move that many, including myself, highly doubted Durant would make, considering his ties to Oklahoma City and the success they had last year despite losing to his new team in the Western Conference Finals. There is no doubt that this team will be great, but Durant’s decision carries a lot more than that. Durant’s choice to join up with an all-time great team has opened up several debates, and the actual basketball team is only a small part of it.

Pardon me for a moment while I advocate for the old geezers of the NBA who view this trade as an abomination of everything they stand for. You see, years ago, back in the heydays of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, players had a stronger tendency to stay in a place that allowed them to compete head-to-head against other superstars, a battle of one star and their supporting cast versus another. However, in today’s NBA, there is a strong inclination for players to link up with other stars, thus forming a “super team”.

In recent memory, there have been a few of these teams, all of varying success. Many people point to the 2008 Boston Celtics as the league’s first team in the “big 3” era, with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all playing vital parts in bringing a championship to Boston. They weren’t met with a ton of controversy for this, but the recent super team of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh left a bad taste in the mouths of NBA fans who would rather see more parity in one of the most predictable leagues in modern sports.

Many people are drawing comparisons between the 2010 Miami Heat saga and this latest installment of free agent frenzy. However, we must be careful with these comparisons. LeBron was met with harsh criticism for the way in which he announced his decision, and less harsh criticism for the choice itself. He was labeled as a villain, betraying his hometown in search of titles. If you rooted against LeBron James and the Heat then, how could you possibly root for the Warriors now? This is a textbook example of a player chasing rings, and that is fine for some people. It is fun to watch this greatness, even for those who are only watching in the hopes that it crumbles. Durant has every right in the world to go to the Warriors, and it’s honestly hard to blame him given their talent. He’s not up on a stage surrounded by fog machines yelling “not 5, not 6, not 7”, but if LeBron was criticized for linking up with former enemies on the court, shouldn’t Durant face the same criticism for joining a team that just crushed his title hopes as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder?

This story will be very interesting to monitor over the summer, but one thing is for sure: The Warriors just adopted another splash brother, and he is ready to make some waves.

NBA Free Agency: The Kevin Durant Sweepstakes

The Kevin Durant sweepstakes of the 2016 NBA Offseason is a lot like the Powerball; you can try, you can cross your fingers and hope, but deep down you know some jerk from Oklahoma will probably win it anyway.

 

NBA Free Agency begins this Friday, and this season, it’s all about Kevin Durant.  For the past few years, the media has been hyping up Durant’s potential free agency, and now that it’s finally here, put in your earplugs, because there’s about to be a whole lot of noise. It was initially announced last week that Durant would meet with 3 teams: The  Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and Golden State Warriors. As the weekend progressed, 3 teams suddenly turned into 6 (maybe 7?) as the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics will reportedly sit down with the 27-year old former league MVP and state their cases. To make matters even more confusing, it is also being reported that Carmelo Anthony is trying to recruit Durant to the Knicks as well. The truth is, by the time July 1st gets here, the number of teams in on the Durant sweepstakes could be well over 10.
Look, it’s fun to speculate. I could write a feature-length story about each of these teams and how Kevin Durant would fit with their current roster. I could talk about how deadly he could be with the Warriors, and how much they’d have to give up to get him. I could go on about how much he would change the dynamic of the Boston Celtics, and how he would be the first major free agent to ever sign with the team in their storied history. It’s fun to think about these things, and over the next few days, people will. However, in the end, it doesn’t matter because the chances that Durant leaves Oklahoma City this offseason are slim to none. Guaranteed.

Despite losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals in one of the most demoralizing ways imaginable, the Oklahoma City Thunder still give Durant the best chance to win a title next season. In order for Durant to join the Warriors, nearly half their team would have to be scrapped, and that’s not just no-names. Bringing in Durant would mean the departure of players like Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli, and potentially even Shaun Livingston. It is much more likely that the Warriors would go after a second-tier star player like Dirk Nowitski or Al Horford, both of whom are more realistic options than Kevin Durant. The Thunder were minutes away from going to the Finals, and who knows what they could’ve done if they made it. Durant said that his choice will be a “basketball decision”, and if that means he’s looking for a place he can win, he should look no further than home.

Over the next few days, we will hear a lot about each of these teams and their respective pitches to land Durant. We will learn way more than we needed nor wanted to know about Durant, like whether or not KD is the kind of guy who likes city nightlife, or if he prefers to stay in a small market. We will hear every possible storyline from his meetings, what the body language was, what their pitch was, how long the meeting was, the list is endless. It’s okay to watch all of this and take notes, but just understand that in the end, the chances he actually leaves OKC are very, very small. The media knows this, but it’s not like they’re going to ignore this story. It’s way too damn interesting.

The Loser’s Corner

I think we need to rename the Washington Wizards the Washington Lizards, because they definitely take the L on this one. Remember in 2013 when they were the presumed destination for Kevin Durant this offseason? Every move they made was done in order to lure Durant, and now they probably won’t even get a meeting with him. After a dreadful season and an uncertain future ahead, it’s gotta sting for the Wizards to sit and watch the guy you put so much effort into out talking to other people… Wait, we’re still talking about basketball, right? I feel like I’m writing a relationship advice column all of a sudden. I know you’re heartbroken, Washington, but don’t worry! At least you have the Nationals!