Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to play ball for the Golden State Warriors generated a maximum amount of social media chatter over the holiday. It was way too much. Why on a major holiday? Couldn’t all this sports hoopla wait one day?
Some here see Durant as some type of traitor and coward for some reason. I don’t even know what those terms mean in this context. Some argued he’s trading “legacy” for a chance at a championship “ring.” Okay, maybe. It’s obvious in some sense, but what does legacy really mean to a young man, especially when it comes to Oklahoma City? Maybe he doesn’t want his legacy to be Oklahoma City. Some wondered why Oklahomans don’t pay as much attention to the funding problems facing education here as they do to a star athlete. (I like this, of course, as a college professor.) Some just brushed it off as this is just what happens in big-league sports, and, well, Okies should just get used to it now that we’re in the big leagues. That’s true enough at the most basic level, but, again, so completely obvious.
Then there’s the storyline popping up that the on-court performance of Russell Westbrook somehow made KD leave. I’m not buying that.
Obviously, I don’t think Durant is a traitor or coward or whatever pejorative, and there’s nothing especially wrong with talking about sports and venting. Maybe it eases the pain of living in this extremely flawed place. The heat index was over 100 yesterday and will be today as well. The earthquakes keep coming because of fracking. I can go on. As long as no one goes off the rails here completely with the Durant decision, and a few people have and will, what’s the issue? It will pass, folks.
But some of us, including myself, couldn’t help but note that Durant’s decision may well have included some political gestures or semi-gestures (perhaps, at least a hint) that the corporate media failed to directly address. Maybe, just maybe, Durant didn’t want to be the face and the most-recognized person from a place that often makes the news for the antics of its right-wing politicians connected at least in the past to the team's principal owner.
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