In recent months we’ve had to say goodbye to NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan’s playing days as well as OKC’s immediate title hopes (we see you, KD!).
The former developments were met with over-the-top romanticism while the latter decision spurred venom not seen since the immediate aftermath following The Decision.
I fully understand both reactions, but what if I told you loyalty is overrated?
Hear me out.
Countless articles and social media posts have been published in recent weeks touting how loyalty is everything in sports and how everyone needs to be like Duncan, Kobe and Derek Jeter.
Aaron Rodgers says he wants to remain with one team like Tim Duncan, Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant did; proof that loyalty still exists.
— George White (@GWSportsTalk) July 15, 2016
If you REALLY think about it though, just how noble is it for certain players to stick it out with one franchise?
By digging into the example shared above, you’ll notice those players really didn’t have a decision to make when it came to where they would play out their careers.
Yes, Timmy was wooed by Orlando during his first foray into free agency, but when your current team has one of the best coaches of all-time and your front office is on point, why leave?
Jeter played for the New York Freaking Yankees and is a GOD in the Big Apple. That is all.
Kobe was fortunate to get traded from Charlotte, a franchise that would more or less cease to exist for a number of years, to the BEST NBA FRANCHISE OF ALL-TIME. Even with that good fortune, he tried to leave after Smush Parker drove him crazy. How is that any different than Durant wanting to swim as far away from Waiters Island as possible?
Speaking of KD, read this and tell me if you’d be 100% loyal in the same situation.
Food for thought regarding the KD to GSW situation. The last part is something that's been mostly dismissed. pic.twitter.com/FPdcsIUQMn
— Derek J. Hernandez (@DerekTheScribe) July 8, 2016
You can read more about why the Kevin Durant is a coward narrative is unfair here, but it’s not like he was in the best position to win championships.
Loyalty is definitely something to admire, but sticking with one team shouldn’t be a necessity for athletes to be in the good graces of the sports community. In today’s RINGZZZ culture, players have to do everything in their power to win championships or risk being labeled a failure and Crying Jordan’d at every opportunity.
Tip your hat to their careers, but guys like Kobe, Duncan and Jeter didn’t exactly have it rough. In fact, they had it the best.