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Let's all blame someone for Kevin Durant's rational decision

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Good morning. We have that and more in Wednesday's NBA newsletter.

Good morning. Let's basketball.

AFTERMATH: It is apparently time to crawl inside of Kevin Durant's brain to figure out why he left a very good situation in Oklahoma for an exceptional opportunity in California. (Is this really that complicated?) Royce Young had loads of details from Durant's time in Oklahoma City and regarding the Thunder's pitch. Howard Beck blamed Russell Westbrook in so many words. (That's not an entirely charitable summary, and Beck is worth reading every time. The stuff about the owners' reaction to this is dead to rights accurate.) Russ Bengtson blames us all for focusing on ringzzz. Berry Tramel calls Durant a millennial, writing "Durant [...] seeks a ring through opportunity, rather than accomplishment." Which is so patently absurd I won't ever bother breaking down why.

Okay, so I will. (Like Durant, I'm impressionable and impulsive.) The idea that if the Warriors win it will be opportunism over accomplishment is absurd. The Warriors didn't win the title in 2015-16! They proved unable to beat a full-strength Cavaliers team over seven games. Kevin Durant isn't James Jones here. If he wins a title in Golden State -- especially if it comes over LeBron and full-strength Cleveland -- it will be an accomplishment. Y'alls provincialism can't take that away. Sorry.


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YEP: The Durant decision has Pelicans fans feeling nervous about Anthony Davis.

GLORIOUS: Dan Le Batard has a fascinating read on what LeBron and Dwyane Wade are doing to the Miami Heat, leveraging implicit threats of joining forces in Cleveland to get Wade more money. It's all pretty amazing. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have $52 million on the table for Wade. And he's going to meet with Cleveland.

WHO MAKES THE MONEY? I wrote about how players' refusal to fight against the individual max salary leads to superteams, and how the NBA's vast middle class is the only group that can end it.

NOT A PIONEER: Rodger Sherman on the long history of superstars teaming up with other superstars.

WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE: Jason Patt on the Thunder dynasty that never was.


THE FRENCH POPULATION IN SLC DOUBLES: Boris Diaw traded to the Jazz so the Spurs can sign Pau Gasol.

UNLOVABLE: Ricky O'Donnell is not feeling great about the state of the Chicago Bulls.

Happy Wednesday. See you next time.