Kevin Durant was a FREE AGENT. Since he announced his decision to join the Golden State Warriors on Monday, the uproar has been deafening from the talking heads on ESPN, other NBA players, and sports fans everywhere.
What exactly is the problem? According to dictionary.com, the term free agent is defined as, “A professional athlete who is not under contract and is free to auction his or her services with the team that offers the most money.” In this case, Durant did NOT take the most money but he chose what he considered to be his best opportunity to win a championship.
Personally, I think it was a great move for both Durant and the Warriors. The real point though is that my positive opinion is just as irrelevant as all of the negative opinions we have heard for the past 48 hours. The only thing that matters is what Kevin Durant wanted to do – HE WAS A FREE AGENT!!!!
People like Stephen A. Smith, who I usually enjoy listening to, completely lost his mind over a decision that had absolutely NOTHING to do with him. His statement that “this is the weakest move ever made by a superstar” is one of the top five stupidest comments we have ever heard. I’m pretty sure that Stephen A. doesn’t really care what I think about his comment; but I am equally as sure that Kevin Durant doesn’t really care about Stephen A.’s inane babble.
As for the average sports fan, I think it was P.J. Carlesimo who said it best on SporsCenter. He said if you hear a friend or co-worker complaining about Durant going to the Warriors, just ask this simple question: If you had the opportunity to join the best organization (in whatever field you work) with a very good chance that you would go down in history as one of the greatest teams ever (in your chosen field), would you take it? If they are being honest with you the answer would almost always be yes.
We did a show about the Warriors on Sports Talk when they were 55 – 5, where I half-jokingly said, “We should just enjoy this, because we may never see a team that is 55 – 5 again, unless of course the Warriors sign Kevin Durant and are 60 – 0 at this time next year.” It’s a pretty safe bet that they won’t be 60 – 0 next year, but it is sure going to be fun to watch. Everyone, like Stephen A. Smith, who thinks Free Agency means the player can go anywhere he/she wants as long as he agrees with the decision need to relax and enjoy the ride.
By Dr. Stephen L. Butler
Stephen L. Butler, Ed.D. is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the United States Sports Academy and hosts the weekly Sports Talk program seen live each Wednesday at 1130 Central. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.