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Kevin Durant, Warriors, Nets

Kevin Durant inhabits the same space he was in when he left the Warriors

Kevin Durant, formerly of the Golden State Warriors and now with the Brooklyn Nets, might know that on Tyler The Creator’s Grammy-Award winning album IGOR, there is a 14-second interlude titled “EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING.”

Via Genius, here are the words of the interlude provided by comedian Jerrod Carmichael. 

“Exactly what you run from, you end up chasing. Like, you can’t avoid, but just chasing it and just like trying. Giving it everything that you can. There’s always an obstacle.”

Fourteen seconds sometimes is all you need within a song for a point to get across. For me, this song comes to mind when I think about Kevin Durant and his new superteam in Brooklyn. 

Kevin Durant has always stated he wants stability. It was what supposedly attracted him to the Golden State Warriors. But even with a great coach, superstar teammates, and a supportive front office, Durant was not enough to strike against Golden State’s strong current. He wanted recognition that he was better than LeBron James: it did not happen. He wanted more isolation play and to be seen as better than Steph Curry. Nope, it did not come to fruition. 

So even with everything lined up for Kevin Durant, what he ran from in Oklahoma City (Russell Westbrook provided numerous grounds for instability) he ended up chasing in Golden State: instability. 

Many sports pundits were skeptical of Durant’s decision to pair up with Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets. This season, we see that Irving has no interest in being a team player-even for Durant’s sake. Kevin Durant knew this: see: Irving’s exit from Cleveland and Boston. 

Still, Kevin Durant went there knowing Irving’s shortcomings. Just like Durant went to Golden State, apparently naive that the media would never see him as better than LeBron and that Golden State will always be Steph’s team. 

Now enter James Harden, whom Kevin Durant pushed for to join him in Brooklyn. Now Durant is back to where he was in Oklahoma, where he had to share credit and blame with Russell Westbrook. The same spot with Golden State, where he thought he deserved more recognition. Why does Durant continue to do this to himself?

My theory? It is pretty simple: Kevin Durant may enjoy instability more than he enjoys winning. No way he could think that bringing Harden on is a great idea. Interesting? Yes. But is it necessary for the circumstances? Not a chance: he is still trying to jell with his new teammates, with first-year coach Steve Nash, and finally found Kyrie Irving. The Nets should not have touched a player of Harden’s caliber with a ten-foot pole with so much dysfunction already. 

But here we are.  

Kevin Durant is now chasing what he ran from in Golden State. He wanted credit; now, the masses may pit him, Harden, and Irving against each other. He wanted to be the alpha, too. But Harden spent years in Houston being the top dog. While Harden wants to win, he is still in his prime. Distributing duties of who dominates the ball between Harden, Durant, and Irving will not be comfortable. 

But who knows, this experiment may work out for the Nets and Kevin Durant. The three players may become blissful together and succeed. But history loves to repeat itself, as Irving just proved this notion by going AWOL. 

But and if it fails, there is a strong chance Kevin Durant will now have the instability which chases. I compare Durant to a tortured artist, always looking and fighting for recognition, when he already has it. But like at Golden State, NBA fans knew better, and most know better now with his new superteam where Durant is moving as if he is clueless.

Brooklyn is now attractive, no doubt. However, it may be a recipe for destruction. Not that Kevin Durant cares, anyway.