The Downside of Fanatacism - A Look Back at the KD Decision
Looking around at the 18,000 other screaming heathens smashing their sweaty mitts together and howling in excitement, the thought hits me: this is ridiculous. We are a civilized people. Grown humans are paying exorbitant amounts of their hard earned monies to watch other grown humans put a ball in a circle. The air is palpable with the paradoxical feelings of hope and fear of despair. As the buzzer sounds the latter hits my gut like a freight train. Unbeknownst to me I just witnessed the last game of Kevin Durant’s career as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Unbeknownst to me I just witnessed the last game of Kevin Durant’s career as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After the initial shell shock of the conference finals loss and the subsequent "decision," my human brain took back over and I'm perfectly okay. I broke a promise I jokingly made to leap from the top of the Devon tower if KD decided that he no longer loved us. So I'm still breathing, and I’m surprisingly more excited about the upcoming basketball season than I have been in quite a while (read: one year ago). I get it, one man earned a decision to take a job somewhere else. Kevin Durant owed absolutely nothing to the Oklahoma City Thunder or the city itself. The question I'm left with now is: why do we care so damn much?
The acquisition of a professional basketball team completely revolutionized the landscape of Oklahoma City more than can be described in words (I'm going to try anyways because I hate myself). I moved to The City from Tulsa in 2007, the same year as the Thunder, and when I arrived I found a slightly uglier city with about as much to do as where I came from - nothing, nada, ZILCH. The subsequent nine years saw the team and the city grow beyond anyone's wildest imaginings. A team of kids made it to the NBA finals and the first of many heartbreaks was waiting in the wind for the hopeful Cinderella city. My point is that we experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with this core group of youngsters and as they went so did our city. The amount of money and progress they've infused into the area is astounding and the facelift of downtown, midtown, automobile alley, the plaza district, deep deuce, etc. etc. are all, in part, thanks to the arrival of a sports team that puts a ball in a circle.
it felt like he was single-handedly lifting us from our tragedy like the hero of a Greek myth...
The amount of time and money Durant put into the local community was quite astonishing. He endeared himself to the people by reflecting the cities daily grind work ethic and always saying the right things at the right time. Meanwhile, his trusty sidekick, the flamboyant Mr. Westbrook, was taking flack for being a ball-hogging maniac who, for some insane reason, people thought should be a shooting guard. The city identified itself with Durant, and seemingly, he with them. When images floated around of his jersey hanging from a flattened house after a tornado, it felt like he was single-handedly lifting us from our tragedy like the hero of a Greek myth (his million dollar donation helped a little as well.)
Kevin Durant was more than just a basketball player to Oklahoma City. He was a savior. Okay, I'm being dramatic … He put a ball in a thing and got paid millions and millions of dollars for it. Now he has decided to leave and it's understandable that people will take that as a personal stabbing in the back - especially seeing how he went to what was already the best regular season team in NBA history after losing to them in the Western Conference Finals... GOD DAMMIT! ..... Okay... breathe... seriously, it is time for us to move on. The media is going to pound this into our heads as a betrayal and ramp up the rivalry as much as possible. We are going to buy into that AS FANS. I think the important thing here is that we remember to be people outside of the game and be grateful that we had a guy like Kevin Durant grace us with his incredible ability to put a ball in a circle for nine years.
But as a fan: Fuck you, Kevin.