Magic Johnson’s LA Lakers, Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas’ Detroit Pistons, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets, Tim Duncan’s San Antonio Spuds, Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors, etc. When you mention legends, there are teams that are immediately mentioned together. This is because, due to the nature of team sports, in the event of basketball, individuals and teams cannot be separated from each other.
Of course, franchise stars or one-club men are not the only players who have dominated the league. In the midst of the frequent divergence of strength, there are far more cases of moving around than players who leave a distinct mark on one team. It’s not necessarily because it didn’t live up to expectations or because the team didn’t classify it as a key resource.
Even if they do well enough, movement can occur according to each other’s profit and loss, and it often happens that a player with a great influence decides the team and moves. Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James are representative examples. O’Neill, who was called the ‘Dinosaur Center’, moved the team for one reason or another, but at the height of his time, the key to being the subject in such a process was himself. Because many teams wanted O’Neal.
LeBron is considered a player who created a trend with a concept different from that of a franchise star. Every time he moved a team, he was involved in one or another situation, and in the process, he is known to have influenced the design of the new team’s power. He created or envisioned a so-called ‘super team’ in advance and moved. LeBron’s actions are analyzed to be one of the reasons why the number of franchise-level stars in the league is drastically decreasing since a considerable number of star players follow similarly.
Just as Shaquille O’Neal reminds us of the Lakers dynasty, there are one or two teams that even such players can represent in their careers by superstar standards. What’s great about LeBron is the fact that he leaves his mark on each team he moves to. Lebron, who made his debut in Cleveland, returned to Cleveland through Miami and is currently nesting in the Lakers.
During his playing career, he played for a total of 3 teams, surprisingly leading them all to championships. Likes and dislikes are divided due to frequent runner-up and the formation of a super team, but even taking that into account, it is highly praised for leading all the teams he participated in to victory. In particular, it was a ‘God’s move’ that returned to Cleveland, which had left badly, and created a championship. This is because he was able to make his own personal story more interesting and enriched, including turning the hearts of Cleveland fans who had bad feelings towards him.
In that respect, ‘KD’ Kevin Durant (34‧208cm) is a character with many regrets in many ways. Compared to his skills, he doesn’t have a strong protagonist or ace image. It is even ironic that he is recognized as the owner of skills that will not be pushed back even if he competes with the ace of any team, but he does not have a high name as an ace and leader. There are many reasons for this, but it is an analysis that the lack of a story as a legendary player and the lack of mindset to take responsibility for something to the end also had an effect.
The reason why Reggie Miller and John Stockton continue to be talked about even though they are not involved is that they stayed on their team until the end and worked hard and challenged to win. A one-club man or franchise star may not be the factor that divides everything in a player’s career, but it is clear that they instill a positive image in the player and receive special love from the fans of the corresponding team.
Durant, who was highly anticipated as the next-generation franchise star of the Oklahoma City Thunder, moved to rival Golden State Warriors as soon as he failed to win the championship. At the time, Oklahoma City was still a team with a lot of potential, so there were many opinions that the transfer was too hasty. Of course, you can decide to take on a new challenge if you don’t fit in with the team in a specific area. However, there is a big voice of regret in that it went over to the championship candidate team and rather easily won the championship twice and won the final MVP twice.
Durant, who felt somewhat out of touch with the team, formed a ‘super team’ in Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving and James Harden and dreamed of a new story, but the expected companionship ended in a fiasco, showing only sand grain organization. The material and the actors were gorgeous, but it reminded me of a blockbuster movie that ended without being properly released안전놀이터. The story was solid, but the actors didn’t do their best and the staff was exhausted. Various incidents and accidents or discord continued, and later, the production company was also exhausted.
Usually, in this case, there are many cases in which the former team gnaws their teeth and restores honor because they are polite to the team that believed in them and their pride is at stake. Durant was different. He chose to move to another championship favourite, the Phoenix Suns, rather than stay and defend his pride. No. 1 Chris Paul (37‧183cm), No. 2 Devin Booker (26‧196cm), No. 5 DeAndre Ayton (24‧211cm), etc., were lined up with outstanding players for each position. In particular, Booker emerged as a new scoring machine and expected a ‘double gun’ with Durant.
As a result, it was sunk by Denver led by Nikola Jokic, and the ‘Durant Story’ was not solved this time either. He did his best by handing over the main character’s seat to Booker, but he suffered a lot due to several reasons, such as Paul’s injury and his inferiority in physical strength due to the thin player base. It is no exaggeration to say that Durant is a player with more than Curry if purely individual skills are taken into consideration. He’s no bigger than LeBron.
However, based on his unique leadership, Curry is evaluated as making the team stronger as a result of making good use of his teammates while scoring a lot. Lebron also showed off his overwhelming presence to the extent that he was the center of any team he went to. On the other hand, Durant doesn’t show the soft leadership that brings the team together by taking care of his teammates on and off the court, or the charge leader who says ‘follow me’ and heats up the fight from the front. This is the reason why he continues to expose the limits in team performance even though he doesn’t seem to be envious of others just by looking at the results after the game.
As mentioned earlier, the legendary players who will continue to be talked about in the future have their own stories. Durant is unfortunate in many ways in that respect. In Oklahoma City, the story was never made, and in Golden State, it was written on one page of the story made. In Brooklyn, the game was turned over before the story was even made.
Durant, now in his mid-30s, doesn’t have much time left. There is no law saying not to run long like Lebron, but even the world’s Lebron is getting older and coming down from his prime little by little. As Durant, he needs to be at the center of the story when he can show his ability as a protagonist. Phoenix, like Durant, is a team that desperately needs a story. Let’s pay attention to whether the desperate Durant can become the protagonist of the final narrative next season.