Nearly every decision I make is informed by a simple question: will this make me happy? I don’t think this is a particularly novel concept, yet the more I pay attention to others, the more I’m convinced that many do not abide by this philosophy.
Kevin Durant is one of the most successful players of my lifetime. He has been named first-team All-NBA six times, second-team All-NBA four times, won one MVP and two NBA championships, and led the league in scoring four times. By any measure, statistical or otherwise, he is an outstanding basketball player who has accomplished anything and everything an NBA player could want to accomplish. Despite this, he seems deeply unhappy with both his past and present.
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Part of that makes sense. Durant fled OKC and Russell Westbrook in 2016—if given the option, I too would move heaven and earth to ensure Westbrook was not my teammate. Strangely enough, however, Durant went to Golden State, won two NBA championships, and seemed even more unhappy. He then fled to the greener pastures of Brooklyn, stockpiled the Nets roster with his friends, and then spent the last few years as the downtrodden ringleader of the Kyrie/Harden/Simmons circus. This offseason, he has declared his unhappiness with the franchise’s direction and demanded a trade.
Kevin Durant has been in the NBA for 14 seasons and has played alongside many stars—Westbrook, Harden, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kyrie. He has been unhappy while he wasn’t winning and unhappy while he was. He has not found a satisfactory situation and at this point, it’s reasonable to assume a trade to Miami or Toronto or Boston won’t change that. It’s strange following the career arc of one of the best basketball players ever, witnessing so much success, and realizing KD is still struggling to answer a simple question: will this make me happy?
Listening for the week:
- The Utah Jazz are committed to a full-scale teardown. Is the path forward for Utah energizing or demoralizing?
- The passing game has never been important in football. With that understanding, how much value are NFL teams placing on the wide receiver position?