The Ongoing Tales of World B. Flat

BigSoxFan

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His legacy is going to be really complicated because you can't really compare his career arc to players from prior generations, due to the increase in player movement. I think a big part of the reason you talk about Giannis or Kawhi passing him is due to his injury; after he had won his second title with Golden State I think a lot of people believed he was the best player in the world. During the two title seasons with Golden State; I think he was better than Curry due to his defense and overall impact on the game, but it was still Curry's team because Durant joined Golden State and Curry had already won a title with that core, plus Curry has an iconic style of play that will forever be associated with those teams.

Durant will forever be defined by the idea that he took the easy route to win his championships; even more than LeBron did when he went to Miami. LeBron has won enough in other places to kind of dismiss that idea, so that will be what Durant will have to do. Even though Durant was the best player on those GSW teams, and he played brilliantly in the post season to win his two titles; the general public still believes he took the easy way to win two titles. I think the fact that he took an awkward victory lap post-title and fans on social media gave him a ton of shit for it; something that was entirely predictable but I believe took Durant by surprise, really soured him on the media and fans in general, and has led to him finding a kindred soul in Kyrie.
I view Durant as the A-Rod of the NBA. A clear first ballot HOFer who never succeeded at being the face of the franchise for a title team and whose thin skin turned him off from a sizable contingent of fans.

Durant was magnificent in 2017-2018 but, like Jeter with A-Rod, those were always Curry’s teams even when Durant was arguably the better player. Like A-Rod in 2009, Durant finally won his titles and played brilliantly in doing so but nobody really cared because GS really didn’t even need him. And the final blow was his own Achilles injury ruining the GS 3-peat that would have made his GS time more memorable.

To regain some of his lost stature, I think Durant needs to alpha dog the Nets to a title. He’ll always be noted as an all-time great but he’ll probably be underrated on many lists because of these factors. When you strip away the personality and GS stuff and just look at the player itself, he is just an amazing talent, especially the late 20s version that turned into such a deadly two-way force.

Choosing Boston over GS in 2017 probably changes the entire trajectory of his public perception. The Celtics would have won a title and he would have been the face of it.
 

chilidawg

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To regain some of his lost stature, I think Durant needs to alpha dog the Nets to a title. He’ll always be noted as an all-time great but he’ll probably be underrated on many lists because of these factors. When you strip away the personality and GS stuff and just look at the player itself, he is just an amazing talent, especially the late 20s version that turned into such a deadly two-way force.
So he goes to GS, wins a couple titles, is regarded as one of the top 5 players (easily), and he lost "stature". What was his stature before that? I just don't buy the whole narrative that going to GS and winning championships has some how tarnished his reputation.
 

BigSoxFan

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So he goes to GS, wins a couple titles, is regarded as one of the top 5 players (easily), and he lost "stature". What was his stature before that? I just don't buy the whole narrative that going to GS and winning championships has some how tarnished his reputation.
It absolutely has tarnished his reputation with a lot of fans. Whether that’s fair or not is a legitimate debate. But tons of fans think he took the easy way out and that has hurt his brand. Nobody disputes the talent.
 

Euclis20

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His legacy is going to be really complicated because you can't really compare his career arc to players from prior generations, due to the increase in player movement. I think a big part of the reason you talk about Giannis or Kawhi passing him is due to his injury; after he had won his second title with Golden State I think a lot of people believed he was the best player in the world. During the two title seasons with Golden State; I think he was better than Curry due to his defense and overall impact on the game, but it was still Curry's team because Durant joined Golden State and Curry had already won a title with that core, plus Curry has an iconic style of play that will forever be associated with those teams.

Durant will forever be defined by the idea that he took the easy route to win his championships; even more than LeBron did when he went to Miami. LeBron has won enough in other places to kind of dismiss that idea, so that will be what Durant will have to do. Even though Durant was the best player on those GSW teams, and he played brilliantly in the post season to win his two titles; the general public still believes he took the easy way to win two titles. I think the fact that he took an awkward victory lap post-title and fans on social media gave him a ton of shit for it; something that was entirely predictable but I believe took Durant by surprise, really soured him on the media and fans in general, and has led to him finding a kindred soul in Kyrie.
That's my recollection as well, but I don't think history will see it that way. The year he won his second title (2018), he was 7th in the MVP voting. His three years in GS, he made the finals three times and finished 9th, 7th and 8th in MVP voting (and made just one all-nba 1st team). If the best player (a previous MVP winner still in his prime!) on the best team can't even sniff the MVP, something is off.

The LeBron parallel is interesting. They both went to new teams that had won titles in the recent past and already had HOF level alpha stars, even though LeBron/Durant are clearly a level above Wade/Curry. I think you're right that if LeBron hadn't won in Cleveland (or, subsequently, LA) his legacy would suffer, and not just because more is better. If Durant doesn't win a title in Brooklyn (or at least get them to the finals), his legacy will take a [not undeserved] hit.
 

Euclis20

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I view Durant as the A-Rod of the NBA. A clear first ballot HOFer who never succeeded at being the face of the franchise for a title team and whose thin skin turned him off from a sizable contingent of fans.

Durant was magnificent in 2017-2018 but, like Jeter with A-Rod, those were always Curry’s teams even when Durant was arguably the better player. Like A-Rod in 2009, Durant finally won his titles and played brilliantly in doing so but nobody really cared because GS really didn’t even need him. And the final blow was his own Achilles injury ruining the GS 3-peat that would have made his GS time more memorable.

To regain some of his lost stature, I think Durant needs to alpha dog the Nets to a title. He’ll always be noted as an all-time great but he’ll probably be underrated on many lists because of these factors. When you strip away the personality and GS stuff and just look at the player itself, he is just an amazing talent, especially the late 20s version that turned into such a deadly two-way force.

Choosing Boston over GS in 2017 probably changes the entire trajectory of his public perception. The Celtics would have won a title and he would have been the face of it.
It's a good comparison, and I sometimes wonder how history would view A-Rod if the 2004 trade had happened and he had been a part of breaking the curse. Obviously that's a lot of history to unwind, but if he had taken a pay cut to come to Boston and be the best player on the first title team in 86 years...yeah, it'd be different.
 

tbb345

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So he goes to GS, wins a couple titles, is regarded as one of the top 5 players (easily), and he lost "stature". What was his stature before that? I just don't buy the whole narrative that going to GS and winning championships has some how tarnished his reputation.
it absolutely has tarnished his reputation.
Combine going to Golden State with his weird change in personality (pretending to relish being a villain while clearly still being incredibly sensitive), the burner accounts where he “anonymously” defended himself (made even more ridiculous since he had previously claimed a bunch he didn’t care what people thought of him) and I think a large large amount of fans have completely soured on him.

Personally, I think KD and Kyrie are very, very similar everywhere but on the court (for example, Idon’t think KD would ever have a series like the Milwaukee series). They both seem incapable of any self reflection and always blame other people for what were clearly self inflicted wounds.

The only difference is that KD has Kleinman working with him who is clearly buddy buddy with a lot of media outlets and members. Kleinman gets Durant a lot of “exclusive, tell all” interviews where KD pretends like he’s a changed person or gives “honest” (even though they are clearly bullshit) answers so the media is satiated and ends up calling the dogs off on him or presents him more favorably than Kyrie.

Durant’s obviously an all time great player. But when you get to the tier and stratosphere he’s in, everyone’s really fucking good. For me, his decision to basically coast to a title in Golden State is a giant mark against his overall record. I’ll be very interested to see how it plays out in Brooklyn
 

tbb345

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That's my recollection as well, but I don't think history will see it that way. The year he won his second title (2018), he was 7th in the MVP voting. His three years in GS, he made the finals three times and finished 9th, 7th and 8th in MVP voting (and made just one all-nba 1st team). If the best player (a previous MVP winner still in his prime!) on the best team can't even sniff the MVP, something is off.

The LeBron parallel is interesting. They both went to new teams that had won titles in the recent past and already had HOF level alpha stars, even though LeBron/Durant are clearly a level above Wade/Curry. I think you're right that if LeBron hadn't won in Cleveland (or, subsequently, LA) his legacy would suffer, and not just because more is better. If Durant doesn't win a title in Brooklyn (or at least get them to the finals), his legacy will take a [not undeserved] hit.
there are two big differences between Durant and LeBron with their free agent moves
One, LeBron went to a Heat team that was basically dismantled to get him, Wade and Bosh. They were sort of a blank canvas and had to establish chemistry without much help in terms of role players. Durant went to a 72 win team where he basically just replaced Harrison Barnes. That’s a massive difference.
Add that to the fact that he literally just lost to Golden State in a 7 game series that was incredibly close with OKC and the whole thing felt like Durant was an incredible front runner who wanted all of the credit of winning a title without putting in the work that every other superstar has had to. Or front running with an established team (something that KD himself seems to agree with now since he went to Brooklyn to get his own team)

2. the media and fan vitriol for LeBron was on a completely different level than what Durant faced. I mean, they almost aren’t even comparable it was so much worse for LeBron. for fans and (especially) the media. LeBron was skewered every step of the way while the Durant reaction was mostly “Well, he’s a free agent he can do what he wants”.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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What does it mean to “tarnish” Durant’s rep? Fewer or less lucrative endorsements?? He was never going to be in the GOAT conversation, so does it matter whether everyone agrees that you’re in the top 10? 20? 50? Once you develop a critical mass of supporters, does it really matter if and how many detractors you have? (I mean, Trump lost an election and a majority of the country HATES him, but he has still raised over $200M in donations in 6 weeks and has House GOPers climbing all over themselves to join bogus lawsuits on his behalf. And no one hates Durant like they hate Trump!)

Durant will do just fine, even if he can’t carry the Nets to a championship.
 

joe dokes

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Bare King Rooks Pawns.
Let's update this thread title!! It's gonna be the thread that gives all year long.

Something with Kyrie and pawns...Kyrie thinks he's playing chess, but he's playing checkers.
Mates' Fool Rooks Pawns
 

Van Everyman

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Good piece in The Athletic from a guy who covered him in Cleveland, likes him but finds this current trip he’s on to be counterproductive:

https://theathletic.com/2255239/2020/12/11/lloyd-kyrie-irving-is-trying-to-play-chess-while-ignoring-some-useful-pieces/?source=user_shared_article

Points out some interesting stuff:

But I do wonder if he’ll look back one day and regret not trying harder to get his messaging out instead of wasting time on silly flat-Earth nonsense. Irving has done so much good for those in need. He donated $1.5 million over the summer to help cover the salaries of WNBA players. He has donated more than $300,000 to Feeding America during the pandemic and partnered with City Harvest to donate 250,000 meals across New York to people in need. He became an investor in Beyond Meat after adopting a vegan lifestyle and donated 200,000 Beyond Burgers this year to New York’s largest hunger relief organization. There are plenty of other examples, such as the $100,000 he donated to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation when he began digging into his heritage and that of his late mother, Elizabeth. He was one of the loudest voices in resisting the league’s bubble restart over the summer. He wanted to let the changing times of the country play out without the distraction of sports.

Irving could talk about all of this at length, not for a pat on the back, but to bring awareness to the causes important to him. In turn, it could drive more assistance and funding.

Irving is immensely talented. His creation of the “Uncle Drew” character is proof his gifts extend far beyond basketball.

He has been sharply criticized at times, but he has never been badly mistreated in the media, despite what he may think. Why is he doing this now? Who knows? Irving frequently makes decisions that I don’t understand.
 

tbb345

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What does it mean to “tarnish” Durant’s rep? Fewer or less lucrative endorsements?? He was never going to be in the GOAT conversation, so does it matter whether everyone agrees that you’re in the top 10? 20? 50? Once you develop a critical mass of supporters, does it really matter if and how many detractors you have? (I mean, Trump lost an election and a majority of the country HATES him, but he has still raised over $200M in donations in 6 weeks and has House GOPers climbing all over themselves to join bogus lawsuits on his behalf. And no one hates Durant like they hate Trump!)

Durant will do just fine, even if he can’t carry the Nets to a championship.
I struggle with how to respond to these types of posts. On one hand, you are exactly right. On the other, if you want to boil it down to that level of simplicity and existentialism, what the hell are any of us doing commenting on message boards? We are Just a part of that critical mass of supporters and detractors that don’t really matter.
 

Marbleheader

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How good would the Nets be if they drafted the players taken with picks they traded away over the past decade? This is just a partial list. It's insane.

Damian Lillard 2012
Draymond Green 2012
Kelly Oubre 2015
Jaylen Brown 2016
Jayson Tatum 2017
Kyle Kuzma 2017
Collin Sexton 2018
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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So great.

"I thought we discussed 2.5 post ups were game?"

"Yeah. Yeah. So...like...4. Or 8."

KD clearly thinks hes gonna be able to alpha dog him. Hes going to learn very quick that Kyrie doesnt give a fuck what anyone else but Kyrie has to say.
 

the moops

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How good would the Nets be if they drafted the players taken with picks they traded away over the past decade? This is just a partial list. It's insane.

Damian Lillard 2012
Draymond Green 2012
Kelly Oubre 2015
Jaylen Brown 2016
Jayson Tatum 2017
Kyle Kuzma 2017
Collin Sexton 2018
Probably should be Markelle Fultz in 2017, right?
 

TripleOT

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The greatest failure of our time is no new thread title.
Maybe in a Durant-like way, the person who started this thread isn't up to the challenge of renaming it on his own, in a way commiserate to the incredibly cleverly named threads we've seen recently. Maybe they can join up with two or three of the winning thread-namers to come up with a championship title to this thread.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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Maybe in a Durant-like way, the person who started this thread isn't up to the challenge of renaming it on his own, in a way commiserate to the incredibly cleverly named threads we've seen recently. Maybe they can join up with two or three of the winning thread-namers to come up with a championship title to this thread.
I like the resistance to making the thread title Kyrie-centric. Don't feed the beast.

Atkinson is now out in LA, living the good life as a Clip assistant. Let his name live on in this thread!
 

leetinsley38

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The full quote on Nash - perfectly reasonable:
"Steve's been amazing," Irving said. "He kind of commands the respect. I think I've got to take back my comments in terms of the head coach back a few months ago. But it's just like, man, we have such a great synergy. Everyone feels like we're coaching one another to be better, so I'm grateful for that."

Then more word salad (which is why I click on this thread any time it's updated), re not talking to the media/"pawns":
Irving said Monday that the comment was not directed at any specific person or at journalists as a group.

"It's really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership ... We want to perform in a secure and protected space," he said."
 

TripleOT

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The full quote on Nash - perfectly reasonable:



Then more word salad (which is why I click on this thread any time it's updated), re not talking to the media/"pawns":
"Protected space?" Kyrie went into the wrong profession, since his job involved performing in front of 15k+ hostile spectators at least half the time.
 

Tony C

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Generally i hate the "dumb jocks should shut up and play" genre of commentary. In this case....the exception that proves the rule -- Irving as "artist" is just absurdly deep into his own navel.
 

BigSoxFan

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shoelace

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Barkley's not really saying "shut up and dribble", he explicitly says that Kyrie can and should talk about social justice issues and stuff like that if he wants, because he is a black man and he can actually speak to that stuff. He's more telling Kyrie to stop acting like a self important dipshit, which is totally fair.
 

ifmanis5

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Barkley's not really saying "shut up and dribble", he explicitly says that Kyrie can and should talk about social justice issues and stuff like that if he wants, because he is a black man and he can actually speak to that stuff. He's more telling Kyrie to stop acting like a self important dipshit, which is totally fair.
You're right, SUAD is a bit over simplified. It's more 'get over yourself, man.'
 

Kliq

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Kyrie refusing to talk to the media has seemingly caused more of a public uproar from players (current and former) than any of his previous indiscretions. Seems like a lot of guys have spent their careers talking and working with the media, and don't like that Kyrie is trying to disrespect their end of that relationship.
 

Cellar-Door

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Kyrie refusing to talk to the media has seemingly caused more of a public uproar from players (current and former) than any of his previous indiscretions. Seems like a lot of guys have spent their careers talking and working with the media, and don't like that Kyrie is trying to disrespect their end of that relationship.
I think it's more than that. It's twofold:
1. Talking to the media is part of the job, everyone else does their job, and Kyrie thinking he's above it is insulting to them (especially since it came up after he used a media avail to take a shot at Lebron then got slapped back)
2. A lot of guys are still pissed at him from the summer, Kyrie's thing is he wants everyone to tell him he's smart and an intellectual, and how he goes about it pisses guys off, especially this summer when he was advocating for skipping the bubble for social justice issues, then while other guys (Jaylen Brown, Sterling Brown, etc.) were actually working with groups Kyrie wasn't doing anything. It was another in a long line of Kyrie wanting credit for being "more than a basketball player" without doing any of the work that less prominent players had been doing.


Kyrie's thing is basically this.... you know the kid who read 1 chapter of a philosophy assignment in Freshman year of college and went all in on that as his identity for 6 weeks? Kyrie is that guy, but he never grows out of it. He's a dumb gullible dude who wants everyone to think he's a deep thinker, but doesn't want to invest more time than it takes to watch a youtube video into anything. Then he gets pissed when people point out that what he says is dumb and says
"you're twisting what I said"
 

DannyDarwinism

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I think it's more than that. It's twofold:
1. Talking to the media is part of the job, everyone else does their job, and Kyrie thinking he's above it is insulting to them (especially since it came up after he used a media avail to take a shot at Lebron then got slapped back)
2. A lot of guys are still pissed at him from the summer, Kyrie's thing is he wants everyone to tell him he's smart and an intellectual, and how he goes about it pisses guys off, especially this summer when he was advocating for skipping the bubble for social justice issues, then while other guys (Jaylen Brown, Sterling Brown, etc.) were actually working with groups Kyrie wasn't doing anything. It was another in a long line of Kyrie wanting credit for being "more than a basketball player" without doing any of the work that less prominent players had been doing.


Kyrie's thing is basically this.... you know the kid who read 1 chapter of a philosophy assignment in Freshman year of college and went all in on that as his identity for 6 weeks? Kyrie is that guy, but he never grows out of it. He's a dumb gullible dude who wants everyone to think he's a deep thinker, but doesn't want to invest more time than it takes to watch a youtube video into anything. Then he gets pissed when people point out that what he says is dumb and says
"you're twisting what I said"
Yes to all of this, and particularly to point #1, the dude was elected to VP of the NBPA’s executive committee and is now refusing to take part in a job requirement that was collectively bargained for and is outlined in the CBA. At least for everyone else, but not Kyrie, because he chooses to exist on a higher plane that transcends the corporealistic strictures of the mundane, and which does not acquiesce to the hegemony of pawns who only seek to prevaricate and obfuscate the essence of his being.


Man do I want Fat Harden to join up with New Age Raskolnikov and the Thin Skin Reaper in Brooklyn. Just incredible potential for drama plus some pretty interesting basketball questions.
 

nighthob

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A far more hilarious ending is if the Nets trade is a three way where Kyrie ends up on a team that truly deserves his transcendental gifts... the Knicks. Watching Kyrie lead the Knicks' prospects to glory (for Houston) is the best possible ending to his tale.