Basketball Inequity / by Maxwell Young

It'd be like Superman chasing after common criminals with no Lex Luther to battle.  No one wants that shit. 

In approximately 4 months, at the end of the 2015-2016 NBA season, Kevin Durant will be a free agent able to sign with whichever team he deems fit.  Seeing that there is much more of the current NBA season to be played, I bet the 2014 MVP has yet to definitively nail-down what team he's headed for should he choose to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder.  However, some insiders are pegging the Golden State Warriors as a potential destination for the 6'9" 240 lbs., eight-year veteran.  The Warriors have structured the contracts of their stars--Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green--in such a way that they would have enough salary cap leeway to make a run at signing highly-touted Durant.  

Yes, you read that correctly.  The 2015 NBA champions who are currently challenging the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record for best record in an NBA regular season (72-10), would add yet another extraordinary talent to an already dangerous, self-less team. 

Here's a hypothetical scenario:

The Warriors go 73-9 and win back-to-back titles.

Stephen Curry is awarded his second MVP trophy.

And the cherry on-top, Kevin Durant heads for the Bay area. 

How is a starting lineup featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes (you could even replace Barnes with center Andrew Bogut for a bigger lineup), and Kevin Durant promoting equitable basketball?  You might as well handover the Larry O'brien trophy right now because it would not be fair.  If the NBA vetoed the trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, boosting Kobe Bryant's chances at a sixth title in an instant, I have no idea what kind of antics commissioner Adam Silver would try to utilize to keep this super-team from forming.  Could he even stop it if he wanted to? given the freedom of free agency, probably not. 

If you think watching the Warriors plow through their opponents now is boring, imagine how uncompetitive games would be with KD.  That team would have the best scorers on the planet. 

My biggest grievance with this would-be-tectonic-shift of power in the NBA goes beyond the deterioration of parity in the league, but rather the perceived selfishness of some of the NBA's stars.  Everybody wants to form a super-team, a trend that was re-popularized when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett headed to the Boston Celtics to play with Paul Pierce in 2007, or when Lebron James and Chris Bosh packed their bags for warmer weather and headed to Wade County to wrack up two championships with the Miami Heat. 

Are players that caught up with their place in NBA history that they are willing to leave their roles as building blocks--cornerstones--to join teams with the best shot at winning titles?  Regardless of a superstar's prerogative, what happened to the days where players took pride in the organization that drafted them and wanting to become the team that overthrows the victors?  It's not like Kevin Durant is playing with D-League call-ups.  He has got the most violent point guard in basketball in Russell Westbrook feeding him the ball and a Thunder team that is a legitimate contender to win the Western Conference.  

Championships are not easily attainable, we know that.  Some of the greats have never experienced the elation that comes with winning a title, a-la Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. But isn't that why we play and passionately watch?  Titles are not bought, they are earned, and the beauty of basketball, of sports for that matter, is the ability for organizations to come together for better or for worse and chase greatness.