The criticisms of Kevin Durant is nothing that’s unexpected. When the release was made that he would be joining the Golden State Warriors, we knew everyone would kill him for it. That’s something that comes with the territory and something that Durant himself will have to get used to.
However, Durant’s teammate, Draymond Green has had enough of the criticisms. Paul Pierce got on Sirius XM NBA radio where he expressed his ideas on the situation basically crucifying Durant on his decision. Pierce had the same stance of “I’m from a different era and I would never do that” that a lot of the veterans and retired players have had. After hearing this, it seems that Green has had enough. The Warriors forward gave his response to Paul Pierce and all of the rest of the critics who have something negative to say about Durant and his decision (via Anthony V. Slater of the San Jose Mercury News):
GREEN: “I just wonder at what point do they get bored talking about the same thing. You got all these guys talking. Like (Paul) Pierce today, like, dude nobody care what you did or who you did it for. Just give it a break. Everybody got something to say and want to take everything he say and twist it. Like, he play with the Warriors. OKC has their team, we have our team. He left there. Nobody complain when somebody leave Apple and go to Google. Aren’t they in competition with each other? Nobody talk junk about the CEO who leaves Apple and goes to Google. As a basketball player, you are the CEO of a business. You are a business. Kevin Durant is a big business. He is the CEO of that business. So him going to play basketball for a different team, the CEO decided to leave where he was at and go somewhere else.”
“But there’s so many guys in this league that are so stupid they don’t think like that. They don’t think business wise. It happens every day in the world. But in basketball it’s a problem. Aren’t you competitive in your day job if you work for Apple? Don’t you want to outdo Google? What’s the difference on the basketball court. It’s your day job. You want to do what’s better for you. If it’s better for your family life, better for your happiness. Ain’t no one criticizing them. I don’t understand it. I’ll never understand it. So that’s just me. And I’d be willing to bet my salary ain’t many guys in this league more competitive than me.”
Draymond Green stated all facts. For one, players are so quick to say what they wouldn’t do but it’s easy to do that when you haven’t been in that position. Why wouldn’t you go play for a team that has the perfect style of play that suits all of your best attributes? An offense that allows you to play freely and take all of the shots that’s well within your repertoire. Going to Golden State doesn’t make Durant any less of a competitor because he still has to go out there and compete. Nothing is given and there’s nothing that says the Warriors will win it all next season.
Often people as fans and spectators never take into account what players really want. It’s often from the perspective of, ‘Oh, I want him to do such and such‘ and at the end of the day, who are we to say what we want for another person’s life. Personally, Kevin Durant loved what the Warriors had to offer and knew that he would love playing there and that’s all that matters. He gave a quick synopsis on his thought process in a Q&A early this week (via Anthony V Slater of The Mercury News):
“And I was just like a kid, like, in a candy shop. I’d get wide open 3s, I could just run up and down the court, get wide open layups. I was basically begging him. I was like, yo, this would be nice. So as I was thinking about my decision and who I was gonna play for, this team came to mind.”
The comparison that Draymond Green made was spot on. People get to pick and choose what job they want to work for everyday. If they don’t like it, if they want more money, or if they want a different environment then they leave. There’s no difference here in this situation. Kevin Durant made a business decision and a personal decision for the betterment of him. People can criticize and downplay his competitiveness all they want but he did what in the end, makes him happy.