Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NBA is a Business

Last week the Golden State Warriors with their newly acquired super star Kevin Durant won over Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers to be the 2017 NBA Chamions. Soon after, this old article from July 2016 criticizing his transfer started being shared again on the internet. I don't really know why people like to throw people down and look for bad stuff just after winning. Social media has exposed sore losers on the internet.

Unlike in Philippine collegiate basketball where I am a hardcore fan of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, having been brainwashed from an early age, I do not particularly follow any teams on professional leagues, I however, have teams which I like and teams I dislike but it's not because I have particular disdain against them or any of their players. I was initially a fan of Lebron until his "decision" to move to Miami, while there is some dis-like, his greatness can not be ignored. He will go down as one of the greatest NBA players ever. Given this, I essentially dislike any Lebron team also because I usually for for the underdog. After writing this I realized I like most teams in the NBA except for the Clippers and any team Lebron is on (after his "decision"). Ultimately though, you'd need to dislike one team to enjoy sports, not rooting for a team sometimes is boring.

Kevin Durant essentially moved to the team who beat them in the conference finals. That was a big no-no for old school players. This was part of most NBA talk shows heading to the finals. Players from the 80s to the early 2000s collectively said they would not do what he did but they said that times have changed and they understood why he did it.

From a competitive standpoint, it was definitely a bad decision. But while basketball is a sport the NBA is a business. Outside looking in nobody has the right to criticize his decision - it was his to make. He was a free agent and there was a better opportunity to enable him to reach a goal. For the Warriors as an organization and a business it made sense to make a strong team even stronger. It's all about setting an objective and reaching that goal, and they did.

The environment in the NBA is ripe for the situation and this was only magnified because of 1) how dominating the Warriors are 2) how good a player KD is and 3) the fact that KD lost a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors. The Miami team of Lebron and the Champion Celtics of 2008 essentially can be seen as the precedent to this shift. From big two's to big three's and now this super team.

KD made a decision for himself and Warriors wanted another championship it made sense for both to get together and they won. The NBA had a trilogy (maybe a tetralogy next year?) and they had one of the highest ratings so it was win for everyone.

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