Paul Pierce's Gripe With Kevin Durant Joining The Warriors Is Both Legitimate And Completely Hypocritical
A group of NBA superstars teaming up to give themselves such a distinct advantage in contending for a championship that it bordered on being a likelihood? Huh. Where have I seen that before?
Look, I know there are differences in what the Warriors were able to do in adding one of the best scorers to ever grace the planet to a roster that already won 73 games and was one low blow away from back-to-back titles and what the Celtics did by acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. I'm aware that the two additional pieces of the original 'Big 3' didn't come from rival organizations and that they were traded to Boston instead of signing there in free agency. It's true that the franchise that benefited from their partnership was basically in the polar opposite position of Golden State prior to it coming to fruition.
However, it's also true that Paul Pierce's crowning achievement served as a blueprint for what eventually grew into Kevin Durant skipping town to play patty cake with the team that took his lunch money. The Boston Celtics unintentionally cracked opened Pandora's Box, so I don't need to hear Paul Pierce sit there and whine about the villainous group that came into existence via a more egregious adaptation of the championship collaboration that he holds near and dear to his heart.
Kevin Durant could have and should have been playing in last year's NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but - to continue the playground analogy - he got punked for his Jordan's in front of the sports world. He did take the easy way out by joining the "bad guys", but who is to say that stockpiling elite talent at the expense of parity would have become this big of detriment to the league's watchability if it weren't for the team that did it first? From a fan's perspective these NBA Playoffs were absolutely dreadful, but while I hate what Kevin Durant did, I can't - in good conscience - say that it's anything other than a better version of what Paul Pierce benefited from. It's a copycat league, so the team that created this prototype is at least partially responsible for creating this monster...even if that prototype wasn't originally founded on the lack of competitive spirit that we saw last summer.