Minutes after winning his first NBA title, Nike posted a Kevin Durant ad that showed all the adversity he had to go through just to get to this moment.
All throughout his career, Kevin Durant has played like the second best player in the league. But until he won a ring, people were always going to hold that against him. His move to Golden State was heavily criticized, but in the end, he got what he came for.
Durant had an unbelievable Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Through five games, he didn’t have a single game of less than 31 points. And in the final game, he scored 39 points on 20 shots. He definitely earned this ring for him and his team, as he was the difference between blowing a 3-1 lead and closing it out in five.
His move to the Warriors wasn’t the only time he’s faced criticism. As this Nike ad devoted to him shows, he faced adversity ever since he was a second overall pick for the Seattle Supersonics:
Set to the tune of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”, Durant’s best highlights are played while everyone tries their best to pick up faults in his game. At first, he was too soft. Then, he couldn’t play defense. Then, he wasn’t a real leader. And after signing with the Warriors, the attacks got personal, as people even celebrated his mid-season injury. But as soon as he won his first ring, the room fell silent having finally acknowledged the greatness that was on display.
Nike’s ads are always praised for being based in reality, and this one was no different. People can still call him a traitor for leaving behind Oklahoma City, and that’s fine. But when Mama Durant, the real MVP, started celebrating with him on the court, it was impossible not to feel happy for him.
Even though this year’s Warriors team is arguably the greatest collection of talent ever assembled, Durant proved to be the best player for them (or at least 1B with Steph Curry). As long as they can keep the band together, it’s hard to imagine they won’t keep winning while they’re all in their prime.