Are the Brooklyn Nets Really Better Off?

Are the Brooklyn Nets Really Better Off?

Have you ever seen a house fire?  They are pretty fun to watch as long nobody gets hurt.  It can start out pretty calm, but there is a threshold that once it crosses, cannot be undone.  Today, the Brooklyn Nets threw a match into their franchise, which is good news for anyone who doesn’t like snakes.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on The Brooklyn Nets is the beginning of a terrible fire within the team.  It may not happen this season, as Kevin Durant will be sipping happily on his fine cocktails making a ton of money.  Also note that he turns 31 in September, and unless a miracle happens, we won’t see him playing again until he is 32.  Kyrie Irving just proved to everyone that, as the kid who wanted to be the #1 option, he really can’t be relied upon.  He’s probably under constant distraction in attempt to prove the Earth is flat though, so if anyone has an excuse it’s him.

But can anyone honestly sit here and say with the addition of Kyrie and Kevin, and the loss of D’Angelo Russell, The Brooklyn Nets are in a better position?  If you said yes: you are the weakest link, goodbye.  In fact, I think they went the wrong way.  Let me explain why:

One of the most important skills anyone can have in life is one that cannot be taught.  It is one that you are either born to ignite, or not.  It’s called Leadership.  Kyrie Irving proved in just two years with Boston that, if elected as leader, he will assure winning is on the bottom of the priority list. Kyrie enjoys being in the spotlight, but doesn’t like the pressure that goes with it.  Sure, we all know he has hit some clutch shots.  Nobody will deny he can make shots when it matters.  But when did he hit those?  When LeBron was his leader, not when he was the one leading his team.  Kyrie took a Boston team who, by all means necessary, was ready to make a run at the championship.  But with him as the #1 option they couldn’t quite figure out what the next step to becoming a great team looked like, and Kyrie was so stuck in his own place he forgot to lead the team to that level.  It’s okay though, Kemba will make sure Boston makes some noise next year.

Kevin Durant, on the other hand, is in a much more interesting boat.  He can always be the #1 option, there is no false advertisement with his game.  He is one of the greatest scorers to ever touch a basketball; one could call him the King Cobra of scoring… okay I’m sorry; I’ll stop with the snake jokes.  But as he slithers towards healing from his injury, he will also be growing in age.  When he finally steps on a basketball court again in the 2020-2021 season, he will be at the age where one could argue that his prime is at the tail end.  Coming back from an Achilles Tear is no joke either, and we may not see him back to the Durant who is explosive and can score at will until he is 33, in the 2021-2022 season.

That aside though, let’s talk about his leadership style.  I want you to picture, if you will, a wolf pack.  They say the strongest leaders are in the front and the Chief Leader of the wolf pack is in the very back, as to not let anyone fall behind.  If Durant was a wolf, he’d be the leader that would be in the front, and he’d constantly find himself being distracted by other alternative motivations.  As a result, the entire pack would be off the path.  There isn’t a rhyme or reason for these antics, and some people associate him being an emotional human as the cause of this.  Honestly, I just don’t think he feels comfortable being a leader, he just wants things to happen his way.  If things go sideways though, he has a good way of allowing the negative emotions to take hold.  If anyone has been around an adult throwing a temper tantrum, it can be fairly uncomfortable.

So now we are at the point where Kevin and Kyrie are playing together; with how sloppy of ball Kyrie can play at times, and how emotional Durant can get, we could be looking at the start of one the greatest reality TV shows in sports history.  I’m envisioning it now:  Kyrie dribbles, breaks an ankle, does a spin cycle thing and goes up for a layup.  Durant, wide open at the three-point line, will still be upset that he didn’t get the ball passed to him.  This will happen enough times to cause a riff in the locker room, and once that riff starts, I hope you like popcorn because we are all in for a show.  Knowing Durant, he’ll ghost Kyrie and knowing Kyrie, he will just stare into the endlessness of space contemplating where in the flatness of Earth he is actually located.

Listen, Kyrie and Kevin are both ultra-talented basketball players.  In no way shape or form am I attempting to diminish their talents.  But if you are trying to build a team that you want to have win a championship(s), this isn’t the right way to do it.  It’s okay to have a Durant or a Kyrie on your team, but when you combine the two of them, you’re basically asking to burn your house down. That being said, I would personally be shocked to ever see this team get past anything further than the second round.

Both of them have all the talent they need, and have worked endlessly perfecting their crafts.  But as I said earlier, you cannot teach someone to be a Leader.  You are either born one, or you are born to follow and unfortunately, as talented as they both are… following is what they do best.  Or in Durant’s case, just playing his game.

Featured Photo Credit – John Locher/AP

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