Andrew Gilman

Hate the Player, Not the Game

Hate the Player, Not the Game

Perhaps it’s time to change how we feel about Golden State. And now would be a good time to start.

After all, there’s only a few games left in the season and the chance to appreciate just how very good this team is will be gone soon enough.

The problem, at least locally, is many are blinded by the greatness of the Warriors due to the hatred of Kevin Durant. That irrational reasoning is ruining a special opportunity to see a truly sensational team. You wouldn’t hate the best meal of your life just because someone you didn’t like was in the same restaurant. So, disparaging Golden State for whatever reason, including Kevin Durant playing for the Warriors, isn’t worth it.

Golden State is just two wins away from going 16-0 in the playoffs, and not just being perfect, but being perfect against a team that has a pair of  future Hall of Famers on it. A sweep of LeBron and the Cavs and you could arguably call this Golden State team one of the best of all time. Golden State plays flawless offense, the kind of team basketball you’d teach your kids to play and the kind of basketball you wish the Thunder could play. They score with ease and artistry and make it look simple. Up by three points at halftime Sunday night, there was no consideration the Warriors couldn’t score whenever they felt like it in the second half. Golden State’s lead was never less than 10 for the final 16 minutes of the game. They are destroying a Cleveland team that had no problems at all getting to the Final – a Cleveland team with one of the best players of all time, as well as Kyrie Irving.

Meanwhile, for as as easy as the Warriors make offense look, they held Cleveland to 37 percent shooting. The Bulls had Jordan the Lakers had Kobe and Shaq, but the Warriors have interchangeable parts where a number of players can do a number of things, including Durant, who had 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals.

Don’t let the KD disdain blind you from appreciating greatness. Golden State has rolled in the playoffs, hasn’t lost a meaningful game in months and is on the verge of a record performance.

But here around these parts, while being noticed, it’s not being appropriately appreciated. Check your heart and then check your Twitter feed. Be honest. How much of each is filled with incessant ramblings about not forgiving KD, or how he hurt Oklahoma City, or even how he’s taken the “easy” way out? All of it acceptable, understandable, too. It’s easy to see why the hatred flows, yet so little is said about how Durant would be the MVP if this series ended now or how easily and efficiently he’s made Golden State better.

It’s just more simple to be bitter.

Golden State is a great team. Better than the 73-win team it had last year and better than championship Cleveland or even its title team two seasons ago. Golden State is as good as any team in the last 20 years and certainly Durant makes it so.

Just don’t let that ruin it for you.

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