Kevin Durant finally got what he wanted and it’s not a championship ring. He got to the NBA center piece, the main topic of conversation, the hated over glorified, undermining villain of the basketball world. He did what LeBron James had already done, the “easy” thing, the path of least resistance to a championship.
LeBron’s big decision was total circus, complete with clown pundits, freak show Clevelanders, and animals crapping everywhere. ESPN was scooping up the cash, LeBron was reveling in the glory, and Miami was pumped to finally have a basketball team that wasn’t going to be Dwyane Wade with a bunch of other dudes.
Kevin’s big decision had a little less fanfare, a little less TV coverage, and a lot less jersey burning. It was, by most accounts, a move that seemed a little cheap, but everyone likes the guy who cries when delivering his MVP speech and brings up his mom.
How Kevin Durant sleeps knowing 12-year olds are awake and mocking him on twitter pic.twitter.com/PDFlr6VIim
— 34 12 and 10 and 56% (@RTSportsTalk) September 20, 2017
But, it wasn’t enough. Not enough hate, not enough attention, not enough je ne sais quaoi! Kevin was longing for the secret umami of the sports world. He was Zelda, trying to collect the 8 fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom, trying desperately not to reach basketball zenith, but rather a fame so deep it reached Kardashian like levels. His insipidness to inspire ire within the roaming crowds had been dwindling, the jokes coming less and less, his unabashed annoyance at Peyton Manning going viral was the last we’d heard from him. The clutches of fame were seeping away until his jersey was soaked with the sweat of praise, until now.
Kevin Durant when he sees someone hating on him on Social Media pic.twitter.com/36ZfcDbDOY
— Sadek (@ThisisSadek) September 18, 2017
The pettiness on display on Twitter screams of someone who is bored beyond belief during the off season, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron still gracing the screens more often. The saga behind Kyrie Irving‘s relationship with Bron and Isaiah Thomas‘s hip scrolling forever endless across the bottom of the screen on most sports news channels.
Damn, man. Kevin Durant plays harder on social media in 2017 than he did in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) September 18, 2017
So a roll of the petty insult dice was all it took to get the camera’s back on his slender, Jack Skellington like frame, his frothy goatee trimmed and his hair freshly lined. “I’m ready now”, he yells reveling at last in the heat of the lights, because the heat of burning out and fading away is much scarier than the heat of another lonely night, groaning about what decisions he’s made to his agent.
A moth that flies to close to the flame won’t be a moth for long. But maybe that’s what Kevin is thinking too. That before he is an old burnt out athlete enshrined in wax, he’s going to keep it as hot as he can for as long as he can.
For that, I guess I can’t blame him.