By TJ Ram
Follow TJ on Twitter @TheRealTJRam
The possibility of signing Kevin Durant, a former MVP and bona fide superstar, already has Warriors fans getting excited. But should the NBA’s most dominant team go after him?
No one questions the surreal talent Durant possesses. Now in his 9th year, Durant sports career averages of 27.3 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, and 3.6 assists per game. His 6’9″ frame, coupled with improved ball handling skills and a deadly jump shot, makes him an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. In his MVP season, Durant averaged a staggering 32 points per game, scoring a career-high 54 on the Warriors that year.
In short, Durant’s offensive dominance up to this point in his career has been nothing short of amazing. His significant improvements on the defensive end, as well as his ability to get his teammates involved, have cemented his status as one of the game’s premier all-around players, rather than a prototypical ball stopping scorer who only looks for his own shots. If the opportunity presents itself, signing Durant would seem like a no-brainer to the average Warriors fan.
However, this is not a no-brainer for the Warriors — it’s much more complicated than that. To understand why it’s more complicated, let’s look at previous examples of teams acquiring superstar free agents. LeBron James’ and Chris Bosh’s decision to join the Miami Heat is probably the one everyone remembers. In 2009, the Heat were fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 47-35 record. In other words, they were a playoff team, but no one expected them to win it all. Pat Riley knew that the addition of James and Bosh would be the team’s only hope of winning a title in the foreseeable future, so he went out and got them. Sure enough, they were a very successful team, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.
This Warriors team is much different. This is not a team that is in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. This is not a team that is an underdog to win it all. This is a team that has already won a championship and is on pace for a repeat. This is a team that could break the single-season record for wins. This is a team that some would already call the greatest team of all time. So, as the old saying goes, why fix what isn’t broken?
The amount of success the Warriors are having hasn’t been seen in this league since the Jordan era. They have special players like Curry, but what makes this team special, aside from their prolific three-point shooting, is their ability to play together. The unselfish plays, the chemistry they display, and the effortlessness with which they do it is truly transcendent. This situation could not get much better for them and, given how dominant they already are, they need to keep this situation the way it is for as long as possible. They have much more to lose than that 2009 Miami Heat team did.
In the NBA, if you find a formula that works, you have to stick with it. It will be tempting for the Warriors’ front office, but they have to keep this team together because they are already unstoppable.
Cover Image: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots between New Orleans Pelicans guard Norris Cole, left, and Dante Cunningham (44) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016. Oklahoma City won 121-95. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)