For the last year, NBA franchises have been whining-and-dining the league’s most valuable free agent, Kevin Durant. Naturally, every team's advances have been met with varying responses from the star forward. Whether it be shameless pleads of the Washington Wizards or the promise of dynastic-excellence by the Golden State Warriors, and virtually everything in between.
As expected Durant has quietly and meticulously explored his options, because, after all, this is where he’ll ideally be spending the rest of his prime. So why continue drudging through the Western Conference when you could relax, sit-back and cruise through the East? Sure you have to play Believe-Land three or four times a year, but at least you’re avoiding teams like the Spurs, Warriors, or Clippers. Instead, you get to trash contenders like the Sixers and Nets. Exciting right?
Better yet, why not just join the Celtics? A team poised for future success with-or-without Durant. Let me explain-- The Celtics have acquired the Brooklyn Nets 2016, 2017, and 2018 first round picks, and the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2019 first round pick. Of course, Brooklyn’s 2016 first rounder fell in the top 3, largely thanks to their dilapidated roster, and it was used to select the athletic but intelligent forward Jaylen Brown. And, sorry Jay-Z, but the Brooklyn Nets aren’t getting any better. Jeremy Lin isn’t the answer to the Nets salvation, and in an Eastern Conference that has grown exponentially more competitive Brooklyn has no chance of keeping up. Then there’s Memphis’ 2019 pick. I’m not a swami, but Marc Gasol is 31, Tony Allen is 34, Zebo is 34, and Mike Conley is 28. Sounds like car miles away from crapping out to me.
So with all of the league’s first-round picks over the next 3 seasons in tow, what else does Boston have to offer? Let’s start with the roster at hand. The Celtics have found their identity on defense under head coach Brad Stevens, while the offensive load has been carried by breakout sensation Isaiah Thomas. Throw in Jaylen Brown, a blossoming young point guard like Marcus Smart, a highly athletic two-way player like Jae Crowder, and All-Defensive First teamer Avery Bradley, and you have an impressive young core of players. The piece that completes this puzzle though is Al Horford, who just signed a four year-113 million dollar contract with the Celtics.
Not only is Al Horford a seasoned veteran, but he’s a criminally-underrated defender and dynamic scorer who chose the Celtics. Because the city of Boston has what no other team could ever dream of. Tradition. It isn’t called “Title Town” for nothin’. The Red Sox have claimed eight championships, the Bruins six, the Patriots four, and the Celtics seventeen - seventeen titles, unparalleled in the world of basketball. There’s magic underneath those parquet floors, and proof of it hanging in the rafters above.
What city could fit the needs of Kevin Durant more? Kevin Durant’s favorite quarterback, Tom Brady, joined Ainge at their meeting with Durant in the Hamptons. Big Papi tweeted at Kevin Durant, apologizing for missing their meeting. That’s ten combined championships. Think about that for a moment. Between Brady, Ainge, and Ortiz alone there are 10 championships. Why wouldn’t Durant want to be apart of that? To pick Brady or [Bill] Russell’s brain. To throw out the opening pitch at Fenway Park. To be lauded and galvanized by a fanbase that loves their basketball. To walk through the halls of the Garden, passing by pictures of the Bird’s, Havlicek’s and Russell’s, and realizing that he’s apart of the legacy now. To win.