Kevin Durant no warrior in OKC

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On July 4, Kevin Durant celebrated his Independence Day!

Yep, that’s incredibly corny, but anything goes right now. All opinions, from those held by the greatest of basketball minds to former players, your wife’s best friend or your neighbors down the street all ring loud.

They all resonate.

This isn’t like LeBron James’ decision, which was instantly vilified. Remember that week in 2010? I do, vividly.

It was Summer League time in Orlando, same as it is now. I remember everyone on their cell phones. I remember being told he’d be going to the Knicks because Amar’e Stoudemire said so. I remember hearing from people I trusted that he’d be going to Miami. That’s the story I went with and reported, hours before “the decision.”

Google it. That said, I remember all the chatter. When James went on TV and told the world he’d be taking his talents to South Beach, I pulled out a fist pump. Never mind that I’d lived in South Florida for a decade before returning where I went to school in Orlando and knew Bron had no idea the Heat don’t play on South Beach, bringing forth years of folks in other parts of the world sounding ignorant, but I still embraced it. He’s taking his talents to South Beach. My sources were correct.

With Chris Bosh on board, a super team was born. The idea, alien at the time, revolutionized the NBA. Guys would go where they had the best chance to win.

People had as much trouble with that concept then as they do now.

It’s not just you or your stupid neighbor. People struggle with the thought and instantly want to call out someone’s manhood. Paul Pierce, who joined the Clippers to try and win a ring last season, tweeted out the hypocritical “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” take. Rack him, Jim, he’s so edgy.

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to telling another man what to do. Sources, yep, they actually exist in the basketball world, told me Durant would return to Oklahoma City on Saturday night.

Trust me when I tell you that in the NBA, my sources are impressive. They were wrong. Durant went rogue. He was torn, but ultimately followed his heart. That idiot, Stephen A. Smith, went on the air to call him soft. Others wondered why a player who could join any team and instantly make them a title contender would opt to join a team coming off the winningest season in NBA history.

I know Durant talked to Jerry West, but I doubt the logo’s words resonated as loudly as the idea of no double-teams. Well, not none, Durant is still someone you have to give extra attention to, but if you gamble sending an extra body his way, you’re risking leaving the Splash Brothers or Draymond Green open. That’s it. That’s the pitch.

Hey, KD, instead of creating offense for others with the Thunder, you, the best scorer in the game today, will have offense created for you.

So, Westgate has installed the Warriors at -150 to win a championship after initially going with -125 in the hour after the announcement. Money came in. Sharp as razor blades.

The projected win total, 68.5, is ridiculous. It’s the highest figure of all-time. Expect the Warriors to take everyone’s best punch and end up with about 65 wins.

About the Author

Tony Mejia

Tony Mejia has been a national sportswriter for nearly two decades and has covered NBA and college basketball as a columnist, analyst, handicapper, and bracketologist for CBS Sports, Pro Basketball News, and numerous other sites.

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