After a cruise-control victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors claimed another championship, their third in four years. Three titles in four years may not equal perfection, but most NBA players never taste one drop of championship champagne.
Hey, “Ringzzz Counters”! Isn’t winning ringzzz the only thing that matters? How many careers have you cast aside due to a lack of championship hardware?
“Player collusion!” they scream.
Yes, ever since Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors, the “Ringzzz Counters” have lost their mind, claiming foul as if there is only one way to build an NBA championship team.
What a novel idea, though – one where employees actually get a choice of where to work. Does Kevin Durant owe his entire career to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization, the organization responsible for trading away James Harden? How long was he supposed to watch Russell Westbrook hoist too many contested fourth quarter shots before deciding enough was enough?
It’s not as if the Golden State Warriors didn’t build their team through the draft: Steph Curry (Round 1 pick #7), Klay Thompson (Round 1 pick #10), and Draymond Green (Round 2 pick #35). None of those draft choices included a number 1 selection – no, not even a top 5 pick.
Oh, and by the way, they changed the landscape of the NBA. Previously, no team ever came to the conclusion that maybe the best way to combat the opposing generational player (e.g. Michael Jordan) was to ya know, shoot a 3-pointer because 3 points are greater than 2.
Why not give the Warriors credit for their ability to self-evaluate? Is it far beyond the realm of possibility to say that Golden State’s 2014-15 series win against the Cavaliers had more to do with the injuries to Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving than their play? Remember, they lost the rematch the very next year when both of those players were able to play. Because as good as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are at shooting 3’s, there are times when both players go cold and relying on the temperamental Draymond Green to produce consistent scoring is not the most sound strategy. (Relying on Harrison Barnes was not optimal, either.) After realizing that an upgrade was needed, Golden State went after the best player available for their team – Kevin Durant.
Was Kevin Durant supposed to strand himself on a flawed team to satisfy some moronic code? Of course not, because Kevin Durant realized there was no honor without rings. Ask Charles Barkley how fun it is when his TNT buddies Shaq and Kenny bring up Barkley’s lack of a championship ring.
See, “Ringzzz Counters”, you don’t get to trash player careers based on your sole criteria, the rings count, and then complain when players do everything possible to win rings. You don’t get to modify or “plus one” your criteria because you suddenly find it dishonorable for players to search out teams that give them the best chance to win. The Warriors current team construction is your “fault”, so enjoy the harvest you sowed.