Don’t want Kevin Durant. Don’t care what Screamin’ A has said about him, including the positively laughable statement that he, the Overbearing Voice of Nonsense, would take the Oklahoma City forward, a 6-9 beanpole of a roller-coaster ride between money stroke and choke artist, ahead of player for all ages LeBron James.
Don’t even care what someone “local” who actually has displayed a lot of sense at times, WIP sportstalk’s Brian J. Haddad, has said about him, either, such as Durant being the type of “whale” the 76ers need to land in the free-agent market, the kind of star who could ignite a nothing-to-something rebuild by Philly’s NBA franchise.
Just not a fan. At all.
So, thanks, but no thanks to KD coming to town.
For all the success he has enjoyed as a pro, and there has been plenty for him to enjoy, individually and as part of a team, winning four scoring titles on his own and being a key factor in the Thunder reaching one NBA Finals (2012) and four Western Conference Finals (2011, ’12, ’14 and ’16), Durant just does not give off any clutch, “killer” or winner vibe.
Yeah, great scorer, better defender than credited with being, but he’s just paper-thin soft. Just like the guy being compared to him and pushed as a viable for the Sixers with the No. 1 pick in next month’s draft. Which is yet another reason why you’d never see me touting Brandon Ingram as the guy they should take.
Can’t stomach the idea of one KD type on their roster. Absolutely shudder at the possibility that two of them may exist on it when camp for the 2016-17 season opens in the fall.
Not for nothing, but the Sixers have an opportunity now to create their own identity, with their own players, and, frankly, that prospect, as daunting as it may be for most of us to consider after three years of tanking, is much more appealing than paying Durant more money than he’s worth to do what we already know he’ll do, which is, ultimately, come up short.
He’s not held back in OKC. Heck, if anything, his game is highlighted by playing with another star, and his burden is alleviated for the same reason. Sorry, rip Russell Westbrook all you want for being a crazy man out on the court, but he gets the ball to KD in some wonderful, easy-to-bucket situations most of the time and then takes over at others.
If you ask me, he’s the far better player on the Thunder. KD had been for a while, perhaps even the first 4-5 years of their pairing in the Big Friendly, but Westbrook’s “force of nature” drive/talent has been too dynamic to play second fiddle. Not just in OKC, either.
Put it this way, Golden State’s Steph Curry was a worthy MVP this season, unanimous or not. He had no biz being honored as such last season, though, ahead of Westbrook.
But back to KD …
His arrival, if it ever occurred in Philly, would be met with wide-eyed hope leading to wild proclamations … and result in a lot of disappointment. He is a supplemental piece. An often electric supplemental one due to his ability to rack up points, but supplemental nonetheless.
He is not a foundational-type entity, the guy you get in place and then start putting supplements around him. Just doesn’t have that kind of all-around game. Never did. Never will.
If he’s not scoring, he’s not factoring.
Sorry, have seen enough of those one-dimensional players in town.
So, spare me on signing another, and while we’re at it, spare me on drafting another, too.
Drifted from the sport a long time ago. So can’t claim a special connection to the sport he played, or for the team he played … but, push come to shove, truth being told, Rick MacLeish was an all-time favorite athlete of mine.
If anything, his talent on the ice, what we witnessed here in Philly for 12 seasons, was enough to teach me to recognize what happens beyond the hype to see what was real. Loved Bill Barber. Loved Bernie Parent. Loved Bobby Clarke most of all. But, really, when the city’s NHL franchise was at its best, no one was better than MacLeish. No one.
He was the first Flyer to score 50 goals, had another with 49 and five more with at least 30, and, without a doubt, was a critical figure in the team winning Stanley Cups in 1974 and ’75 and cultivating a love affair with hockey fans and beyond around here forever.
Has there ever been a more majestic display of speed, power and focused brilliance than MacLeish racing from one end to another, his dark hair flowing in the breeze with each leg push against the ice, setting up just inside the blue line, getting hold of the puck and then whipping it past the goalie with a pin-point wrist shot?
Today, unfortunately, all we have of MacLeish are memories. Felled by multiple illnesses, he passed away at 66 on Monday … and many will feel a sense of loss.