Once Kevin Durant announced that he would be joining the Golden State Warriors, they were immediately announced favorites as the next NBA Champions. From fans and players all across the world, the question on how anyone will stop this team has been well in discussion. Similar to when LeBron James left Cleveland, Durant has been facing a lot of harsh words and hate thrown his way. The narrative of taking the easy route and being noncompetitive is something he may have to deal with for the next years to come. However, there will be players in support of Durant’s decision and one player that supports it and wants to push for more competitiveness is Kobe Bryant (via Jim Rome):
“I was happy for him. This is something that he wants to do man, he’s happy with his decision,” Bryant said. “So as a competitor you have to look at that and say ok, how can I figure out, I have to figure out to take apart that team, and so now the challenge becomes how to find cracks within their system within their personnel, how can I take them down.”
Bryant said he doesn’t think any less of Durant for joining such an established team as Golden State and added that for him, it would light his competitive fire.
“As a competitor, I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and thought that was unfair,” Bryant laughed. “If you are a real competitor, you look at that and say ok lace them up, let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there, we are still going to take you down.”
This is great wisdom from a NBA legend and that same competitive drive is what we’re going to miss while Kobe Bryant is gone. That mentality of beating whoever is at the top should be their main focus instead of complaining about the formation of “super-teams”. Nothing is written in stone just yet. Just because their roster looks great on paper, doesn’t necessarily mean their going to win it all. The rest of the NBA should take these words from Bryant seriously as they’re preparing for the upcoming season.
There’s not a greater feeling than taking down a very elite opponent. No matter what level of basketball you’re playing at, there’s no fun in beating on an inferior opponent. You want to play the best and beat the best and that’s how you bring out the best in you and your team.