Rebuilding is a chore for players, front offices and fans alike. Considering how close the Thunder once got to greatness, it will be especially rough to start over. Oklahoma City must start their rebuild by removing their cornerstone.
As they rode off into the sunset the Warriors took stock of their losses, especially on their injury list. Klay Thompson tore his ACL in game 6, and the NBA’s pantomime villain Kevin Durant suffered a torn Achilles in game 5. A harsh sense of schadenfreude surrounded the Durant injury. After all, the prevailing opinion was that he had left the Oklahoma City Thunder to join a 73-9 superteam and ease to multiple titles.
Looking around Oracle Arena after the clinching Game 6 in this year’s NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard, with a fresh cap on his head and his teammates buzzing around him, took everything in. He held the Larry O’Brien trophy with the delicateness of a new born, and gushed over it adoringly.
After years of mismanagement, poor front office decisions, underwhelming drafts, and offloading their brightest star for what may turn out to be low first round picks, the New York Knicks finally got something right when they drafted R.J. Barrett to play in Madison Square Garden for the foreseeable future.