Kevin Durant’s First Title Win Brings The Trolls And Haters Out In Force

Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after winning the NBA Fianls MVP in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates after winning the NBA Fianls MVP in game five of the 2017 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors won their second title in three years by downing the Cavaliers in five games, sparking the usual round of stupid, petty, complaints about how they got there.

As the (somewhat) old saying goes, haters gonna hate. The champagne was still flowing as Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors took a well deserved victory lap after winning their second title in three years, when the haters and trolls crawled out from beneath their bridges to throw shade at the team and their championship victory.

The trolls were lining up to try and diminish and minimize the Warriors’ title win – because that’s what trolls and haters do.

Much of the shade being thrown was directed at Durant, the trolls pushing the rather ridiculous and petty notion that the win means less because he got it with Golden State.

That level of stupidity is perhaps, best expressed by former Arizona Cardinals, now Baltimore Ravens safety Tony Jefferson who took to Twitter (of course) to air his grievances.

Jefferson is, of course, entitled to his opinions – regardless of how petty, ridiculous, and utterly asinine they are.

Ask almost any professional athlete what gives them their motivation. Their drive. Their passion to put their bodies through the rigors they do. And nine out of ten are very likely going to tell you it’s their desire to be the best. To win some rings. To have the word “Champion” etched upon their resume for all time.

Durant said it best when he stated his belief that he’d gone as far as he thought he could go with Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City. And after spending nine years in Oklahoma City with Westbrook – and not winning a single title – Durant’s position seems more than valid.

Except to the trolls and haters like Jefferson, of course.

Nine years with the Thunder, one appearance in the Finals, and zero titles to his credit. With there most definitely being a shelf life on the careers of professional athletes, why would he not do everything he could to win some rings before his time is done?

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And more to the point, why should people like Jefferson blame him for that?

One thing that trolls like Jefferson need to get through their heads is that Durant owes Westbrook and the OKC Thunder nothing. He gave all he had to that organization for nine years. An organization that has its own business model, its own way of doing things – a way that isn’t necessarily compatible with winning championships.

Oklahoma City is a fine franchise. But they seldom make the big moves that can get them over that championship hump. They don’t sign that key free agent who might be that missing piece they need to grab a title. Durant said as much back in an interview with Rolling Stone back in February.

"“Where other teams went out and got that veteran guy, we kept getting younger.”"

Youth is great. But youth isn’t necessarily going to get you to that Promised Land. If Durant had been content to make the playoffs every year – maybe even make a respectably deep run – but narrowly missing out on hoisting that trophy, he would have stayed in Oklahoma City.

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Sure, he’d be considered one of the best players in the game, but with the way the Thunder operates, he very likely, wouldn’t have been able to call himself a champion.

And as an athlete, if you’re not playing for that ultimate glory – we’re talking to you here, Tony Jefferson – what are you playing for? A paycheck? The perks and lifestyle that come with being a pro athlete? Fame? Fortune?

Okay, sure. That’s your thing and you just do you.

But while that’s all well and good for some – maybe for some like Jefferson – it was clear that Durant wanted more than that. He wanted to carve out a legacy. He wanted that ring. And nothing, not the slings and arrows from his critics, and not even the unfettered (and altogether idiotic) hatred from the trolls was going to stop him.

Oklahoma City wasn’t going to be able to help him get to the top of that mountain. So, he went out and found a team that could.

Call it cherry picking if you want. Call it “cheating” for a ring. Those are your opinions and sure, you’re entitled to them – as wrong as they may be. But when the final buzzer sounded last night, ending Game Five, Durant was – a champion.

Nothing and nobody will ever be able to take that away from him.