If you haven't heard the name "Kevin Durant" mentioned within the past month, you must be living under a rock. In case you haven't heard, Kevin Durant, easily a top five player in the National Basketball Association, parted ways with the Oklahoma City Thunder in order to join the 2016 NBA Finals runner-up Golden State Warriors.
In the 2015-2016 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors finished the series with a stellar record of 73-9, which shattered the record for most wins in a season by a professional basketball team. Led by the critically acclaimed "Splash Brothers," Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson brought the Warriors to new heights in the regular season, but failed to add a second championship ring to their collection with back-to-back seasons. The crown jewel of their near "perfect" season was intercepted by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Fast forward to July 4th, 2016, where Kevin Durant enters the picture. A day known for celebration among the people, ended in division between the Warriors and the rest of the NBA. In his quest for a championship ring, Durant packed his bags to form a "superteam," one in which he intends to win multiple titles for years to come. On paper, the Warriors are deemed as virtually unstoppable, as they post a lineup of all-stars, scoring champions, and former rookie of the years. If they could achieve the best NBA record of all time and fall one game short of an championship, imagine all of the possibilities at stake with the addition of a top five player.
But what does this mean for the rest of the NBA?
Three months in advance of the 2016-2017 NBA season, the Warriors already hold a clear advantage over the other 29 teams, without even having set foot on the court. The Cavaliers will attempt to repeat as champions, but it seems highly unlikely that King James will be able to over the surging Warriors.
However, there have been many circumstances in which a team that preformed well in the regular season under produces in the post-season (playoffs), even in recent years. Take a look at the 2013-2014 Brooklyn Nets: a team led by all-star veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, alongside the dynamic back court of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, proved to be unsuccessful, as the Nets suffered an early exit from the playoffs. What is the lesson here? Truth be told, what seem unstoppable on paper, could end up in shattered dreams and loose ends.
So, even though most basketball experts can predict before the season starts that Kevin Durant will help lead his new team to their second championship in two years, it still might be too soon to count the latter out. To the other 29 teams in the NBA, I simply say "good luck."