The Easier Path


Thanks Kevin Durant. You ended the Mavericks’ season in the first round of the playoffs then turned around and resurrected their off-season in one move.

Oh, but you’re not above criticism. Not from this writer; no way.

OK, so you have decided to join the Golden State Warriors. Congrats. Woo hoo. Guess what? If you win your first title with these Warriors this coming season, it comes with much less respect than if you had fought through and battled to do it for the team that drafted you.

It’s called “earning it,” which you certainly aren’t doing with your move to the Warriors. Oh, you’ll make some great plays and the team will be the consensus pick to win it all in 2017, but if you don’t win it’s a colossal disappointment and if you do – well, you were supposed to. So what did you really achieve if you do win it?

You do realize that Michael Jordan had to endure six seasons of growing pains before finally breaking through in 1991 and going on to win six titles? Talk to Isiah Thomas about working to finally break past the Celtics in the late 80’s. Julius Erving – he was entering the latter half of his career when the Sixers finally won it in 1983. Magic Johnson? Well, he won it all as a rookie while playing all five positions in the Finals, so that’s a bad example. But all of his 80’s glory was earned with the Lakers.

Unless you’re a Warriors fan, why would you root for Durant and Co. to win it? OK, maybe you’re a Durant fan. Fair enough, but how does it feel to root for somewhat of a sellout? Celebrate when they win, but admit it – it won’t mean as much as if he had done it in OKC.

dirkBack to the Mavs. Durant’s move west had a direct impact on Dallas, giving them the opportunity to sign Harrison Barnes and trade for Andrew Bogut, which is a salty plan B, (or C) even if it fell into their lap. Salary had to be cut in the Bay Area, and Dallas was the landing spot for these guys. Combine that with the re-signing of Deron Williams and Dirk agreeing to a new two-year deal and it adds up to, at least, a team that should challenge for the playoffs once again.

Don’t expect miracles from this team in a very tough western conference, but this Mavericks squad will compete. Again, enjoy watching Dirk as he enters what many believe will be his last two seasons as a player. Only Kobe Bryant will have played at least two decades with the same franchise when it is all said and done. And they each brought titles to their teams.

Kevin Durant couldn’t do that in Oklahoma City, and now he decided to move to a probable title rather than bringing it home.

Somewhere Larry Bird is shaking his head in disappointment. Why? Because he and his Celtics teammates earned it. I guess the easier road is the way to go in the NBA now. Too bad you lose any respect (from me, anyway) that you deserve in the process.

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Rob Scichili (shick-lee) has worked in professional sports for over 24 years in PR and communications, including time with the Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks,, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. A journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he is co-owner and editor at ScoreboardTx, principal at Shick Communications and VP at Franchise Sports & Entertainment while serving on the board of the Mike Modano Foundation.