With splits, players are not scapegoats


Divorces are rough.

Choosing which parent’s home you want to wake up in on Christmas morning. Award ceremonies turn into awkward moments of diffusing subliminal jealousy. And there are step parents.

The same goes for sports.

When Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors, for many his career became plagued with villainy. Taking the coward’s way out in pursuit of a ring by joining the team fresh off record-setting greatness.

Between the funny memes, burning jerseys and a slew of expletives come from homes across the country, it is easy to be influenced to place the blame on the individual rather than the institution.

The fans love for a player creating their fondest sports memory grows a unique relationship.

The marriage to a player’s impact and that they will retire in favorable colors.

However, the common fan’s input often permeates into the news media too often.

“Don’t give a damn what anyone says: weak move by KD. You go to GSW, the team who beat you, when you’re already on a title contender? Please!,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith wrote on Twitter.

It is understandable to have a personal opinion and a professional opinion, but turning to a morning of SportsCenter with Smith, the reaction even extended beyond talent.

“Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have broken up,” Bleacher Report announced when the move became public.

Athletes work on a contract basis. As soon as the contract is up, it is either time to renegotiate or move. Nothing owed, nothing borrowed.

At any given moment, a team could end their relationship with a player faster than it takes to walk up the stage during the draft. It is a business.

The Thunder could not put the pieces around Durant to succeed at a championship level. But the blame towards the front office for not doing a well enough job in negotiations or on the transaction reports is scarcely placed.

The whole thought of leaving a legacy is a legitimate argument, it is why we love sports. Growing with a player from their rookie year, to a championship is the draw to the industry, and the quickest way to sell tickets.

But when someone wants to take a different direction at the end of the tenure, they may disagree with their decision but continue to cover fairly.

If you think sports team act beyond a business, the New York Jets just released the cornerstones of their team — Center Nick Mangold, Cornerback Darelle Revis, Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall, respectively — in less than a week.