(Parts of this are obviously fictional.)
It’s Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals. The arena is packed with screaming fans. The camera focuses in on the scoreboard. It’s the fourth quarter and the GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS are beating the OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER, 93-86, with about 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter. KEVIN DURANT takes the ball up the court for the Thunder. He reads the defense and goes right with the ball after one of his teammates sets a pick for him at the top of the three-point arc. DRAYMOND GREEN steps up for the Warriors’ defense and contests Durant’s shot. The ball hangs in the air and bounces off the rim and into the hands of the Warriors. It’s a crucial moment in the game.
INT. KD’s House. Oklahoma City, Okla. June 2, 2016. Night.
Close up, full screen. We see the Golden State Warriors playing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The camera zooms out and we see Kevin Durant sitting on his couch in his living room with some family and friends.
Man, does this suck to sit here and watch this?
Yeah, but we’ll be back. Don’t even worry about it.
INT. Oracle Arena. Oakland, Cali. June 19, 2016. Night.
The camera focuses on the scoreboard. It’s a tied game, 89-89. The Warriors are on fast break with ANDRE IGUODALA leading the way. He cuts through the Cavs defense and passes the ball to Stephen Curry at the shoulder of the key. Curry immediately dishes the ball back to Iguodala in transition. Iguodala drives through the lane and attempts to put up a layup, but LEBRON JAMES comes out of nowhere for the Cavs to pin the ball up against the backboard for a clutch block.
Kevin Durant and his family and friends watch as the Cavaliers celebrate becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win a championship. Durant takes the remote and shuts the TV off.
That’ll be you next year, man. Believe that.
Yeah, I’ve got a lot of thinking to do.
Well, we all will support you in whatever you decide to do.
An ESPN anchor stands in front the camera and talks about NBA free agency.
Lots of storylines regarding this year’s NBA free agency with the new salary cap. The main question: what team will Kevin Durant sign with?
Kevin Durant stands in his bathroom and looks at himself in the mirror. It seems like he’s doing some deep thinking about something very important. He seems somewhat conflicted.
(via The Players Tribune)
This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life. I understood cognitively that I was facing a crossroads in my evolution as a player and as a man, and that it came with exceptionally difficult choices. What I didn’t truly understand, however, was the range of emotions I would feel during this process. The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction. But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth.
Kevin Durant stands alone in an empty arena. The lights are on but very dim. He walks over and stands on the Thunder logo at mid-court. He seems to be reminiscing.
With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
BOB MYERS—the General Manager of the Golden State Warriors—sits with Kevin Durant and his AGENT.
Look Kevin, I’ll get straight to it. We want you. Without you, we can win another title or two. Without us, you might win some too. But together, we’ll win a bunch.
You’re a straight shooter, Mr. Myers. I like that.
I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging. It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career. I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team.
Thunder fans set fire to their Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys.
I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.
An ESPN anchor stands in front of the camera and talks about the state of the NBA.
We’re in the era of the super team. KD, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all on one team. Is this real life? After setting the record for most regular season wins in 2016, the Warriors—arguably one of the greatest teams in NBA history—go out and make their team even better. Will this team even lose next year?
2017 NBA FINALS GAME 7 – Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
INT. Oracle Arena. Oakland, Cali. 2017. Night.
The camera focuses on the scoreboard. The Golden State Warriors are beating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 88-85, with two minutes left in the fourth quarter. Both teams huddle up on the sidelines after a timeout. STEVE KERR—the Warriors head coach—draws up the next play.
Alright, guys, stay focused. Two more minutes and we’re world champions. Here’s what we’re gonna do: Kevin’s gonna take it up. Draymond, you’re gonna set a screen. Kev, you’re gonna roll out and find Steph open for a three. Steph, you sink it and let’s put the nail in the coffin. Take your time and milk some clock. Let’s go, guys!
If I see an opening, I’m gonna take it.
C’mon, Kev. Coach knows what he’s talkin’ ‘bout. Stick to the plan.
Yeah, let’s go with Coach.
One… Two… Three… Warriors!
Lebron James and Kyrie Irving sit in front of microphones as the media fire questions at the champagne-soaked champions.
At the beginning of the year, everybody thought when Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors they would stroll through the playoffs and eventually win a championship. How does it feel knowing you put a stop to that?
We didn’t pay any attention to that. We knew we had the pieces to win another championship. Kevin did what he had to do to try to win a championship. I’m just glad my team all stuck together to build on what we started last year.
Kyrie, what would you say to someone who says only super teams win championships these days?
I’d tell them it’s not about making a super team. It takes all the right pieces to fall into place. I mean the Heat lost to the Mavs back in 2011, and the Warriors lost to the Cavs in 2017. (looks to Lebron and laughs)