Kevin Durant had a no-good, very bad Sunday as the Brooklyn Nets lost Kyrie Irving and game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Milwaukee Bucks. With Irving sidelined for at least a brief period of time, Durant and the Nets actually have their backs against the wall for the first time all season.
Dealing with injuries is nothing new for Brooklyn, but it has seemed that when one of their big three had to leave the lineup for any period of time this season, someone else was just returning. The beauty of having a big three is that even when someone isn't there, you still have a big two. With James Harden out and Kyrie Irving's status unknown, suddenly Kevin Durant is a good stats - bad team guy. The reactions have been varied, but it seems that Kevin Durant's legacy is on the line right now.
It's understandable. I may have started with a working headline that read, "Kevin Durant Now Knows How LeBron James Feels." Don't act like it's not true. James lost Anthony Davis in the first round. He lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving at times against the Golden State Warriors. He never had any help during his first run in Cleveland.
With Durant it's like this is what people have been waiting for. Durant came to Brooklyn to start a super team with Kyrie Irving. Then they added James Harden. Before that Durant left OKC to solidify a super team in Golden State. Heck, before that he got to play with Russell Westbrook and James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Sounds like a superteam in hindsight!
There's no denying Durant is one of the best players ever, but people either want to see Durant do everything on his own the way that they romanticize Michael Jordan doing it or insist he has to to prove his greatness. You can understand why some people might be into some Durantenfreude just as many people root against LeBron James. Durant should feel so good knowing that Kyrie Irving and James Harden wouldn't be getting similar treatment from the fans and media if they were suddenly on their own. OK, maybe a little bit, but still.
The thing is, Durant going out there and winning two out of three games with a patchwork Nets supporting cast will only solidify his legacy until Harden or Irving comes back or the Nets lose. Look, everyone's legacy is shit in everyone else's eyes these days. Only one team gets to win a title in a given year and everyone else was a fraud. And the team that did win? If you don't like them well they got lucky. With all the injuries across the league this postseason whoever wins will be handed the trophy and then an asterisks to carry around. It will ride in the last fire truck in the championship parade with Skip Bayless.