The repercussions of relocation: Animosity towards Kevin Durant

Will Gorka, Writer/Photographer

Kevin Durant shook up the landscape of the NBA this summer when he decided to abandon his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates to join forces with Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Durant has been widely criticized because of this decision that he made on July 4. Many of those around the National Basketball Association viewed his actions as weak. Durant joined the Warriors after the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead to them in the Western Conference Finals.

Future Hall of Fame Paul Pierce tweeted “If u can’t beat um join um” after Durant announced his signing with the Warriors. When asked directly about the Durant situation Pierce said “I could have left Boston years ago but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you’re that close as a competitor, you don’t go join the team that just pushed you out.” That’s just me personally but we’re living in a day and time where there’s a new generation. guys I don’t think are as hungry or as competitive as my generation was, that’s why you’ll probably see more of that.”

Former NBA MVP and current TNT sports analyst Charles Barkley even went as far as to say that Durant is cheating. “Kevin Durant is trying to cheat his way into a championship,” Barkley said.

Fellow TNT sports analyst and NBA Hall of Fame Reggie Miller joined the band of retired NBA players ripping Durant for the way he bailed out on all of his teammates in Oklahoma City. Miller called Durant’s potential future ring “cheap,” and discussed how bad Durant’s decision hurts small market teams saying “from a personal standpoint, I’m upset that a small market will never recover from it.” Miller played his entire 18-year career for the Indiana Pacers, one of the smallest market teams in the NBA.

Durant has proved himself to be quite the hypocrite. When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in the 2010 offseason, Durant called him out on it. Durant tweeted “This free agency stuff is getting outta hand…it’s like a episode on HBO” followed by “Now everybody wanna play for the Heat and the Lakers? Let’s go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!”

It might be a little difficult for Durant to “go at these people” this year considering that he joined them. Durant and the Warriors should prove to be one of the most interesting storylines of the 2016-2017 season. The new Warriors and Thunder face-off for the first time in OKC on Feb. 11.