By: Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall Jr)
Two-time NBA champion, two-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time All-NBA First Team, eventual first ballot Hall of Famer and still seeking happiness. This is Kevin Durant and his tale is a tragic one as we watch it unfold in the NBA.
This is not a post discussing all the reasons why I believe Kevin Durant should be happy. I believe one should pursue happiness, but not that things and/or accomplishments cause or create it. Despite the recent moves over the past three years, Kevin Durant began to really be critical of his past landing spots and how, in some ways, he truly felt about his situation and those commenting on it.
The latest occurrence was the response to Magic Johnson who questioned where Kevin Durant would find happiness if he didn’t get it at Golden State. To quote, Horrible take. Just regurgitated bull—“, but was it really?
For starters, KD is not wrong in some of his assessments, especially when it comes to the fan base and media overall. The culture that fosters itself on memes, jokey-jokes, and reactionary analysis would make anyone believe they aren’t as good or in position for greatness as they should be. That said, he was relatively shielded by the bulk of the responsibility and criticism until he brought the attention to himself as the fan base provided conceivable justifications for his actions and even noticed his skillset enough to place him the greatest in the league category.
Even those who have been critical of Kevin Durant moves still hold respect for him as a player. That is more than can be said for other players in the league. There is no doubt that KD is a rare talent, so what could be the problem?
We haven’t seen this public display of vitriol in the player movement era from the actual player making the moves. This leads me think that KD may be dealing with a mild form of depression. I am not a doctor nor am I pretending to be one, but the signs are there, such as:
– Constantly switching positions on issues from an emotional perspective
– Going through the motions of how he perceives happy or satisfied people would respond to situations
– Never feeling connected or a part of the group
– Establishing multiple disconnected reasons why decisions are made
Therefore, after some thought, getting out of the limelight of Golden State and going to Brooklyn was the right move for him. While the definitive expectation at Golden State was to win no matter what, the expectation of Brooklyn fans would primarily be to contend. They are going to embrace him for the fact that he is there.
I have been specifically critical of Kevin Durant’s actions, but go back and look at the first paragraph. I am not harping on his failures, only his success. Like Kawhi, I have no need to continue past criticism unless pushed to do so and I hope the NBA community follows suit.
We know that mental illness is a part of the NBA, despite their ability to detect it, and while I would never call for soft glove treatment on an athlete, I believe we need to be mindful that these players are people and some are not in position for the thoughtless ridicule and comparisons that we heap on them. Its probably time that we chill and appreciate the game for what it is.