The burn is still strong in Cleveland almost a week removed from the Cavaliers being swept out of the NBA Finals by Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.
A lot has been made about the Warriors since a Finals series that proved to be the most lopsided in Association history. Some conclude that the Warriors themselves have broken the NBA. Others will say that they took full advantage of the soft cap era by adding Durant himself to the mix back in July of 2016.
Either way, there are still some out there intent on throwing shade in Durant’s direction after a second consecutive NBA Finals MVP award. We can add Cleveland Browns defensive end and former No. 1 pick Myles Garrett to that growing chorus.
“KD broke the league. You hopped onto a 73-9 team and he took the easy way out in my mind,” Garrett told 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland. “It’s different when LeBron left. He went to (Miami to join) Wade and Bosh but it wasn’t something that was already guaranteed, something you already knew was going to have immediate success. (James) had to gel and work things into place.”
It’s interesting that Garrett could go directly to James’ decision to leave Cleveland for Miami back in 2010. Those who have defended Durant conclude that James started the super team era by making that move. And in reality, it’s not much different.
James was joining an NBA Finals MVP and brought with him a future Hall of Famer in Chris Bosh. All three worked together to make this happen. It’s not entirely different than the whole Hamptons Five thing for Golden State back in July of 2016.
“If I were him I would’ve never made a move like that in the first place,” he said. “Me, I’m too competitive to try and ride on somebody’s coat tails to get a W. But for him, you might as well stay at the spot you’re at now. There’s no point in leaving since you’ve already taken that moniker where he’s been called the snake and cupcake and all that. You might as well stay and just keep on winning.”
Well, it’s hard to ride someone coattails when you’re out here winning consecutive NBA Finals MVPs. But we digress.
Garrett’s comments reek of bitterness within a Cleveland sports community that has seen the Cavaliers lose to Golden State in the NBA Finals in three of the past four years.
He might conclude that Durant broke the NBA, but it’s readily apparent that KD broke LeBron and the Cavs in the process.
For his part, Garrett might want to focus a tad more on helping a Browns team that has won one fewer regular season game than the Warriors have won NBA titles in the past two years. Just some food for thought.