That’s to say if the reports are to be believed, and it would depend on which side it came out of. Smart money is on Brooklyn’s side, but again looking at Kevin Durant throughout his career, that’s the kind of hijinx he thinks shines nicely on him.
It’s been pretty dormant in Durant’s world lately, ever since he asked Brooklyn, but every other NBA team realized the amount they would have to dump their team to get Durant would probably just drive Durant to demand an exchange from there in the next year or two. Mostly because everything in a basketball sense has been taken over by Durant, to the point where he assumes that’s how it always works without knowing how anything works.
We should have known the hissing breeze that travels from one of Durant’s ears to the other when he refused to use the nickname “Slim Reaper”, only one of the coolest nicknames in recent memory, insisting that everyone call him ‘KD’. If Maude Flanders was ever chimed in on what a player’s nickname should be, here we go.
It would probably freak anyone out when the greatest team of all time, the 73-win Warriors, gave you the full “He Got Game” presentation (well no, not this one, as far as we know) to get you into town to fix any little flaws that may or may not have existed in the first place. And it will twist you when every writer wants to tell you how you finally ascended to Basketball Olympus as you collect Finals MVPs in the playoffs and playoffs that your team probably would have won without you anyway.
And then after all that, you can triangulate with your other friend with brain mud in Kyrie Irving to both land in Brooklyn, even though Durant couldn’t play that first season. And you decide who the coach is, and you can play GM to bring in James Harden, even though Harden had spent the previous three seasons in Houston chasing his second-best teammate every time before deciding it was Houston who was the problem (I don’t really mean to, but it’s there now and I’m too lazy to fix it). You have reached your destination, you have become general manager, you have chosen your coach who was clearly overwhelmed, and you can choose all your teammates and even send them off when they turn out to be what they have been.
…And all of that isn’t good enough. Now Durant wants the general manager and coach fired if he is to return to the Nets, otherwise he will stick to his current request which has shown no signs of coming to a conclusion lately. . Durant burned down his own house and is now yelling at the realtor why he wasn’t explosion proof.
Durant really never had the blame on him, and when he did, it didn’t work out and there was someone else to dump the wheelbarrow of shit on. The Thunder couldn’t get past the Warriors or the Heat, but it was Russ Westbrook’s fault. The Warriors didn’t have to rely on him so he shone. The Nets tripped over their own dick, but it was because Kyrie couldn’t stay healthy or couldn’t keep her brains on this planet, or Harden wasn’t bothered or Ben Simmons is the most expensive model. and the most whiny in the world.
Durant’s sense of self has always been inflated and distorted, considering how much he wants to be seen as some kind of mogul, and yet no one knows what he does outside of basketball. Clearly he has an image in his head that he wants, or needs, to be seen, without recognizing any of the steps to get there.
He was in disbelief at how the Nets treated his running pal/hippie Irving when the team was essentially hands tied by city and state. But the process doesn’t really matter to Durant, just the aforementioned image.
He’s still an incredible player, and ultimately some teams won’t be able to resist and the Nets won’t want to have an empty spot on their roster if he stays home forever. Then again, knowing Durant always seems to see the world upside down, he might average 40 all season and then wonder why the Nets haven’t moved him.
But this emperor seems to wear less and less clothes as the seasons go by.
The Cubs finally found out what was obvious to everyone somewhere around 2018 – that Jason Heyward can’t play anymore, so they won’t let him on their team anymore. He has one year left on the gargantuan eight-year contract he signed before the 2016 season, but the Cubs will pay him to walk away.
Heyward was on that 2016 team, which will mostly save him from being one of the biggest free agent busts of the last decade or two (85 wRC+ in seven seasons, 8.9 bWAR). He played really good defense for the first game and was a really good guy for all of it (except for all that anti-vax stuff).
What Heyward will be remembered for is a speech during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series rain delay that only his teammates heard. It always seemed like correlation, not causation, for a player who had really disappointed this season (he had five playoff hits). But he was popular among his teammates, and while I’m sure the speech wasn’t fabricated, his effect was certainly exaggerated by the rest of the team, because the Cubs would have been just as good with a sensible Roomba. with a glove in law as they were with Heyward.
But we should all be so lucky and kind to the people around us that they make sure we have an important detail in one of sport’s most historic events. It may not be the speech itself but his teammates’ need to boost him that tells you the most about Heyward.