By Amos Manary
Whew… It just sucks. They’ve done it to themselves, the self-inflicted sabotage that seems to undo most every NBA dynasty. The pettiness that plagues the country at large has infected basketball’s alleged empire of egoless joy. Alas, all empires, be they benevolent or malevolent, die of suicide. They’ll probably still win it all, this year, and possibly even maintain their supremacy, in spite of the apparent inevitability that not only did the KD-Warriors honeymoon conclude (right after the first championship), but that the whole marriage is doomed.
KD never said, “Till death do us part.”
Everything that could possibly be said already has been said. So much so that every case has been melodramatically overcooked and served up like a hockey-puck hamburger. It’s a bit like a slightly ambiguous, but nevertheless ominous, medical diagnosis – the Warriors, at minimum, have a heart condition. It’s as if the team just found out it’s HIV-positive. Manageable, perhaps, but a new, starker reality. And now the fanbase has been left to choose sides, because one of their feuding All-Stars must be to blame.
Everybody’s points are valid, but incomplete. Maybe Durant is a bit diva-ish; that Draymond can take things way too far is nothing new. People are so quick to forget! It’s a goddamned team game – and ain’t about Draymond or Kevin, it’s the whole shebang. Steph being out certainly precipitated it, but even if his saintly, savior-esque personage hadn’t been absent, it all woulda blown up eventually, as all festering malignancies do, when ignored or mismanaged. The Warriors had their chance to see the relationship counselor – come June it’ll be time for the divorce lawyer, which’ll be of no use, since there never was any marriage.
The problem is systematically general, so if you gotta blame someone, blame general manager Bob Meyers – if the Warriors’ glorious tower joy crumbles unceremoniously – or even half as unceremoniously as the shit-show that’ll be looked back on as the first purloin in the veneer, blame those at the top, who unquestionably saw the fires first, and failed in whatever attempts they might have made to put it out… Talking heads claiming special knowledge have said it’s much worse than has so far come out – what Draymond said, behind closed doors, to KD. I lack the imagination to conjure the connotative destructiveness Draymond’s capable of unleashing…
First things first. As for the micro-drama at the end of the now infamous Clippers game. Of course things would fall apart against the Clippers, whose Sterling demons cannot be vanquished by Jerry West’s dignity, nor Steve Ballmer’s madman enthusiasms. Draymond made a bad play; should have dropped off the rock with Durant and filled a lane. Minor demerits to both guys. To say Draymond overreacted would be valid but for its oxymoronic quality. Which is why KD shoulda held his tongue, at least a bit – that Draymond went bonkers can at least mostly be chalked up to his general unpredictability, which by the way, reeks of MK Ultra mind control. Perhaps Draymond’s handlers have just been having a bit of fun.
I have no idea what kinda tension’s been building between the two, and normally try to steer clear of gossip, in general, and especially when it comes to anything I actually care about… Alas, my beloved Golden State Warriors… whom I be-love so not for their coincidental geographical positioning in the region of my rearing, but for that aforementioned goddamn joy, which was evident so recently (when Klay broke Steph’s record for 3’s in a game just a few weeks ago).
I hate to say I saw it coming. And it had nothing to do with KD going to the Knicks or clairvoyant visions of a titanic Draymond meltdown. It was fucking Bob Meyers up there on stage at last summer’s victory parade. For the second straight year I watched the shit live-streamed from Oakland to Saigon. Highly inconvenient, time difference and all. I say shit because, compared to the year before, the parade was just awful. The shitty energy shone through the cyber sea-cables. The drunkenness was embellished. Even Steph looked shady. But Bob Meyers with that snarky remark about Durant not being quite as important as the guys who’d been there from the start. Why not throw Kerr under the bus too while you’re at it? Get Mark Jackson up there for fuck’s sake! He’s the coach who midwifed the birth of the Splash Brothers. Oh it rankled me something fitful. “And there ended the Warriors’ cohesion,” said Bob Fitzgerald in immediate reaction. Meyers then jokes, only half sarcastically, saying that yes, that [his bonehead comment from five seconds earlier] would probably be the “first fissure.” And here’s why it was and is:
The Warriors lost to LeBron when his next two best teammates made it through the Finals halfway healthy. Led by Draymond, they woo KD aboard. Half the world calls KD a pussy bitch. The Warriors alone seem to have his back. And none more ferociously than Draymond. Maybe Durant has been lording his impending free agency over his teammates’ heads, I dunno. Maybe he’s not exactly the guy who made that MVP speech. I think he is. I think he’s probably one of the five or six sanest players in the league, along with Klay, Steph, DeRozan, Kevin Love, there’s a few NBA all-stars who, for whatever reason appear to my ignorant eyes as super obviously normal-ass people. Draymond ain’t one of ‘em. And I love him. Because, for no other reason, you need sociopaths like Michael Jordan or Draymond Green if you’re gonna win it all…
But Meyers’(albeit) tongue and cheek joshing of Durant at the victory parade illuminated the reality that the organization wasn’t immune to the hypocritical, hyper-criticism of Kevin Durant, based solely on his choice to join the Warriors, who had of course – and this can’t be overemphasized – all but begged him to join them.
Durant, as has been well-overpublicized, was slow to get over, past, and through the waves of resentment that ricocheted his way upon departing Oklahoma, and which, as his multi-podcast interviewer Bill Simmons recently noted, Durant seemed to have expected to pass in the wake of, if not one, but certainly two titles, back-to-back Finals MVP – if he could enter LeBron’s echelon, in championships… if he could provoke pundits to openly wonder, was/is LeBron unquestionably still the best player on the planet… if he could do all that, then, like the LBJ to Miami Decision deriders, his naysayers would slink back to the oblivion from whence they came… Nobody mentioned the decision once LeBron started winning titles with Bosh and Wade. But back-to-back titles didn’t stop anonymous idiots and NBA legends alike (Walt Clyde Frazier, for one, who’ll surely change his tune on KD should he opt to become a Knickerbocker) from insisting an asterisks to forever suffix Durant* … in the Akashic annals of basketball, Kevin Durant relegated to a widow’s peak corner in the least prestigious nook of the Basketball Hall of Fame attic – and what Bob Meyers’ dumb-ass mouth-fart revealed for Durant, methinks, was that the Warriors themselves were in on it too, the petty-ass ball-busting, because that’s what Meyers’ comments conveyed – we might love you KD, we might depend on you, but we have our own asterisks for you. I bet that for Durant that fucking hypothetical asterisks feels as real as a goddamn Star of David on a Jew’s chest, circa the end days of the Weimar Republic.
The Splash Brothers incubating under JV coach Mark Jackson; JaVale, Bogut, Harrison Barnes beating LeBron and Delly (minus injured Kyrie and K. Love) for the first title since Al Attles – all very cute and quaint. But it’s now and there’s only now. They have two of the three best players in basketball. Klay and Draymond are both top 20 players. Boogie too. But I’d scrap everybody if it meant holding onto Steph, KD and Steve Kerr. Lose Bob Meyers immediately. I realize now, expunging the last of this vomit that I’ve misspelled his name each and every time. So be it. Steve, you shoulda been on this earlier. I’m sure you did your best.
If Draymond is butt-hurt that KD might do what he did before, leave his current team for greener pastures, if he expected KD to treat his initial signage with the Warriors like some kinda wedding vow, then he’s only guilty of that all too human tendency toward attachment, irrational and idiotic as it is, we humans don’t like change when it don’t benefit us. Whatever the beef, I’m not surprised Warriors’ management was unable to quell its hideous inertia – because Draymond is the heart and soul of the team… he’s the extrapolation, extension, personification of the whole handcrafted fairy tale, the very emblem of the allegedly more organic acquisition of the players who won 73 games without Durant. Second round pick fat kid, likely MK Ultra mind control victim, Draymond Green, with the charisma to woo KD spewing a different flavor of the same venom KD’s unlikely to ever understand –
The public suspension (humiliation) of Draymond is the best evidence of management’s guilty conscience. Pinning it all on the emblem won’t solve shit. Maybe they can resign Boogie and emerge none the worse for wear. I don’t think so.
Why not leave, if you’re KD? Because every other situation would be worse. The solution? Go to Charlotte and play with Kemba and for MJ? Hmm. The whole team needs an Ayahuasca (or San Pedro) ceremony led by legit shamans (not just a bit of sage and clever witticisms from Phil Jackson) – a team shroom trip at minimum – the Warriors are in need of psychedelic healing… Bob Meyers, if you’re still worth a damn, you’ll call Bill Walton immediately. Bill Walton could fix this… if his son wasn’t coaching the Lakers. Too late. Don’t think he’s available.
The Warriors were miscast as villains. Till they started turning on each other. The first public sign I saw was the team president’s innocuous – (so says conventional idiocy) - ribbing of Durant (which if he reacts to, conventional idiocy renders him hypersensitive, i.e. a pussy bitch, i.e., not a man).
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are both beautiful basketball players. I’ll root for them both till they hang it up. But, and this was the initial point lost on everyone but Durant and his family, Kevin Durant is a MAN… and he might well decide the best team for him is no longer the Warriors, Draymond or no Draymond and if Draymond can’t handle that reality… then he’s as certifiable as the President, of the United States, and perhaps just as culpable as his top supervisor at his job.
So this is what David West was referring to…