Look, I get it. I'm either supposed to be trumping Kevin Durant as the best player on the planet, or declaring that his championship doesn't even count because of the shortcut that he took onto East Street to attain it. That just how this type of thing works these days. If people wanted their opinions to be rational and lukewarm then an egomaniacal reality star wouldn't be running the country, so I understand why there is pressure to either kiss KD's feet or form an angry mob outside his residence. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Finals MVP that put on an absolute show throughout the last five games of the NBA season, I still fall somewhere in the middle.
I'm not going to ignore what was an unbelievable performance on the sport's biggest stage, but I'm also not going to pretend that it wasn't aided significantly by playing with a group that was only one crunch time possession away from back-to-back titles before he arrived. I know this sounds like blasphemy, but I can respect the fact that Kevin Durant had the right to do what he did, and still roll my eyes at him for doing it. I can appreciate his otherworldly stats and shotmaking, and still wonder where they were when he had three separate chances to close out the same team that he inevitably joined.
The way in which Kevin Durant made the best regular season team of all time "his" was nothing short of impressive, but I can't really say the same about that team winning a championship. Obviously no one can take this title away from him or question his eye-popping contributions to it, but this series didn't prove anyone's criticisms wrong. I think it's a fair prognostication that Golden State would be looking back up at LeBron on that podium had they not added their eventual MVP, but that doesn't make me view that MVP in some new light. Everyone knew Kevin Durant had this type of performance in him...they just wish it was used to challenge for a championship instead of simply guaranteeing one.