Kevin Durant: Hero or Villain?

Kevin Durant

Noah Graham-Getty Images

On July 5, 2016 Kevin Durant made a decision that shocked the world; he chose to become the newest member of the Golden State Warriors. Fans everywhere reacted to the move in various ways.

Although most, if not all, Warriors fans were ecstatic about this move, most other fans in the NBA thought this move completely ruin the league for the next couple years. Did Kevin Durant actually ruin the NBA?

The answer differs depending on who you ask. Some may say Durant’s move is no different than LeBron’s move to Miami. Others, like ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith, says this move is one of the weakest moves in NBA history.

Not all sports personalities feel this way, however. Even LeBron James stated that he felt like Durant’s move was, “great for our league.” LeBron may have a point since Kevin left the Thunder. Teams have improved so they could compete with the Warriors. For example, the Houston Rockets gained 14 more wins after losing a great NBA center in Dwight Howard. The is because the Rockets retooled their lineup so they could surround James Harden with terrific three point shooters instead of keeping their old, outdated roster.

Some think KD’s move to Golden State is like LeBron’s move to Miami, but there are many differences between the two. For one, the Miami Heat had to build a roster around LeBron and Dwyane Wade since they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics in the previous season. The Golden State Warriors were following a historic season by winning 73 out of 82 games. They were up 3-1 in the NBA Finals and they blew it due to injuries and a costly suspension of Draymond Green. So, the Golden State Warriors decided to add the former MVP, Kevin Durant.

Kevin Durant refuses to recognize his decision as the reason why the NBA is losing competition. He has pointed the finger at multiple other poor decisions the organization has made.

Perhaps the most important reason that the fans bring up when claiming KD is truly a villain is how he betrayed his old friend, Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant ended his friendship with Westbrook by leaving the Thunder and not telling Westbrook about his decision. Westbrook found out about the move the same day and the same way every other person did, and that ignited KD’s villainous reputation. If only the NBA fans could take the news as well as Russell Westbrook did.

For now, the answer to if Kevin Durant is a hero or a villain is a split opinion amongst NBA fans. Only time will tell if Kevin Durant will be remembered as the tremendous talent that he is, or as the infamous traitor that he has been depicted as in this recent year.

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