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Reggie Miller: Kevin Durant Traded a Sacred Legacy

But to me, a king should never leave his kingdom.

好好的看了这篇文章,哭了。

存一个。


原文地址:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2650244-reggie-miller-kevin-durant-traded-a-sacred-legacy-for-cheap-jewelry


I wrote back: "It's a bad look for the league once again. Between the huge signings of mediocre players and now KD defecting to the Warriors, there are really only five or six teams you are interested in watching—and only three of those have a real shot to win the championship. It's going to be a boring season unless the Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks or Boston Celtics are on TNT or ESPN every week."

He wrote back: "The rich get richer. If you're KD, would you go for the ring?"

And then I responded: "At the end of the day, what's more important, rings or legacy? The media only cares about rings, and rightfully so. We are judged on jewelry, so that's why I can't argue with it. From a personal standpoint, I'm upset that a small market will never recover from it.

"I like having stars/superstars in small markets. It evens the playing field and helps the overall product. It's why having Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay is great. In today's age of social media, you don't need to be in L.A., New York City or Chicago to get all the endorsements. Case in point: LeBron James and KD. Both have been the faces of the league in small markets." 

That's the conversation that really got me thinking (as you can see in the video below).

Look, I understand this isn't about money, because people like LeBron, Durant, Russell Westbrook and the retired Kobe Bryant make more money through their shoe contracts than they do on the court. So yes, we know this decision isn't about money.

To me, it's about your legacy versus rings.

Durant would have been a god if he stayed in Oklahoma City. People always say to me, "I'm so glad you stayed with us"—that I stayed for 18 years with a small-market (Pacers) team in Indiana. 

But the media, of which I am a part, always says, "Well, he never won a championship." And I get that; I understand that. Not winning a championship burns me to this day.

After reaching six Eastern Conference Finals and an NBA Finals only to finish without a title, I sympathize with Durant's dilemma. A rebound, loose ball, free throw, missed assignment, missed box-out can change everything. Being so close and ultimately losing sucks.

Nevertheless, it was the fight to put Indiana on the map that, in my mind, is my greatest accomplishment. 

I lost to Michael Jordan. I battled Patrick Ewing and his Knicks. I lost toLarry Bird and his Celtics. I lost to Isiah Thomas and his "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons. I lost to Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway's Orlando Magic.

You want to go against those guys, against the absolute best, even if you don't win.

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

In the NBA, it's not always about your destination. It's about the journey, successful or not, that goes into getting there.

That's what Durant gave up by leaving the Thunder. And that matters. Had he stayed in Oklahoma City, people would have said, "He spurned all the other offers and continued to fight the giant."

Even if Durant didn't win a championship like me, John Stockton or players who briefly spent time elsewhere like Ewing, Karl Malone, etc. the rest of the world would have looked at him in a different light because he fought, rather than joined, the giants—LeBron, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Chris Paul, etc. And to me, that's a true legacy.

It would obviously be great to have both—your kingdom and an untarnished legacy. But there are only so many people who enjoy that luxury.

Jordan had both, because he already won six rings before going to the Washington Wizards. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Kobe Bryant. You can even put Hakeem Olajuwon in there, since he won two championships before going to the Toronto Raptors.

But I can't loop LeBron into that company. He left his kingdom in Cleveland for Miami, which was Dwyane Wade's kingdom. 

Yes, LeBron did win two titles with the Heat. So I get why Durant, like James, decided to go elsewhere. And I'm not here to say he cannot redeem himself, or that everyone will look back on his decision to leave and focus on that alone. 

Winning solves everything.

Let's say the Warriors go out and win the next three NBA championships. Will people really look back and only think about Durant defecting from OKC? Probably not.

And here's the other thing: Owners turn their backs on players all the time. So as a player, you have to do what's right in your heart. I get that 100 percent.

Still, there's a difference when you are "the man" and everything about a team is built around you. It's even more different for Durant. He had the best of both worlds: the reins of a franchise and another top-10, maybe top-five player in Westbrook.

When LeBron left Cleveland, the Cavaliers had Mo Williams, AndersonVarejao, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Daniel Gibson, among others. His running mates were not of Westbrook's caliber—or even on the same level as Steven Adams.

Comparatively, it isn't like Durant spurned a team that needed to be redone. The Thunder finished with the league's fifth-best record in the regular season and were up 3-1 on the Warriors during the Western Conference Finals. They would have been right there again next season.

That's why I can't help but wonder if he had a conversation with Westbrook.

I'm speculating, but maybe he found out Westbrook planned to leave in free agency next summer if the duo couldn't win a title after what would be nine years together. Though Durant could've still signed a one-plus-one deal that would've put him in free agency with Westbrook, their conversation would at least shed some more light on why he left. 

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Would Durant have left OKC if he knew Westbrook intended to stay?

Maybe this has nothing to do with Westbrook potentially leaving—or even any existing rivalry or conflict between the two. Perhaps Durant's desire to win rings is just that strong, or maybe he took this past postseason as a sign.

I am only here talking about Durant joining the Warriors thanks to a perfect storm of circumstances: a salary-cap spike, Oklahoma City's collapse in the Western Conference Finals against Golden State and the Warriors' NBA Finals collapse versus the Cavaliers. Durant isn't a Warrior without all of those things happening.

And while I get all of this, stars in small markets have a greater obligation to their fans.

People always ask, "What made you stay in Indiana for all those years?"

This is the best way I can answer that question: Your checkout teller at the grocery store, the attendant at the gas station, the ushers, the waiters, the waitresses—all these fans laughed and cheered with me, and they cried with me after the losses to Shaq, MJ and the Knicks. 

We were in it together.

I could not look at those fans had I gone somewhere else. I could not win a championship in Miami like LeBron, popping bubbly and all that, knowing there's a group in Indiana that stayed with me when I wasn't able to win a title. I couldn't turn my back on that fanbase and say, "Yay, I got a ring!"

That's why I believe Durant took an unnecessary shortcut by joining the Warriors. Fans in smaller markets live and die with their teams. Going to playoff games and driving through the neighborhood, almost every house has signs and banners from kids. 

It gives me chills thinking about those experiences in Indiana. And that's not to say Durant won't encounter this with Golden State. He might. But he's in someone else's kingdom now.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Durant may find all he's seeking with the Warriors, but it will never be as sweet as it could have been with the Thunder.

Don't get me wrong, Durant will be the alpha dog. On the court, the pecking order will be Durant, Curry, Green, then Klay Thompson. But Durant will forever play in Curry's kingdom. He was with them first. He won a title for them first.

If Durant would have won in Oklahoma City, it would just be better. It would have been better if he joined any team that wasn't a ready-made contender.

But in Oklahoma City, winning one title would be like getting three or more in Golden State.

Failing to win one with the Thunder would arguably be more admirable than collecting any number of titles with the Warriors.

This is just my opinion. Others will feel differently. People will read this and say, "This is coming from a guy who never won a championship." That's fine with me. And again, I get Durant's decision. I understand that temptation.

The Celtics wanted me to come out of retirement in 2007-08, when they won a title with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. I couldn't do it. There was an opportunity to join the Lakers at one point. I couldn't do that, either. And maybe I should have. 

But to me, a king should never leave his kingdom.


中文版:【来源虎扑,。】


雷吉-米勒亲笔:杜兰特加盟勇士——当神圣遗产变为廉价珠宝


上周二,沸沸扬扬的“凯文-杜兰特决定加盟金州勇士”的消息传到了我耳边。当时一个朋友给我发了条短信:“我的天哪!这真是个历史性的NBA周末!阿杜疯了!勇士队下赛季会输球么?”

我回复到:“杜兰特此举对联盟来说无疑又是一个打击。从一开始的溢价合同满天飞,到现在的阿杜背信弃义加盟勇士,联盟现在真的就只有那么五,六支值得看的球队了——而他们中也只有那么三支是真正有实力的总冠军争夺者。我打赌下赛季会是个无聊的赛季,除了TNT或者ESPN每周转播勇士,骑士,马刺,尼克斯或者凯尔特人比赛的时候。”

他回复我:“强者变得更强了。如果你是阿杜,你会去追逐总冠军吗?”

然后我回复到:“等到你退役那天,什么是更重要的呢?是NBA总冠军,还是伟大的传承?当然对媒体而言他们只关心总冠军,这是合乎情理的。毕竟人们会根据你的衣着打扮和身上穿戴的名贵珠宝,来丈量你这个人,这是无可非议的。然而从我个人角度出发,让我感到伤感的是小球市将永远不会从这次灾难中走出。” 

“我爱那些拥有巨星或者超巨的小球市。因为他们的存在,使得比赛更加激烈,观赏性也更强。绿湾包装工队拥有阿隆-罗杰斯这样的球员是了不起的一件事情*。在如今社交媒体的环境下,你不必非得在洛杉矶,纽约或者芝加哥这样的大都会才能拿到所有的广告代言。很好的例子就是:勒布朗-詹姆斯和凯文-杜兰特都是联盟中小球市的门面担当。”

(*译注:绿湾包装工队(Green Bay Packers)是一支位于美国威斯康星州绿湾市的美式橄榄球球队,成立于1919年,是国家橄榄球联盟(NFL)中唯一一支非盈利性质,由公众共同拥有的球队。是NFL中名副其实的小球市。

阿隆·罗杰斯(Aaron Rodgers),美国职业橄榄球运动员,效力于绿湾包装工队,司职四分卫。他在2005年NFL选秀中首轮第24顺位被包装工队选中,以传球高效和移动灵活著称。他曾两次获得常规赛MVP,并率领包装工队夺下第45届超级碗,同时还是NFL历史上常规赛传球者评分(Passer Rating)最高的球员。)

上述这段对话让我陷入了沉思。

其实我也理解这一切不是为了金钱,因为像勒布朗,杜兰特,威斯布鲁克以及已经退役了的科比-布莱恩特这样的球星,他们从球鞋合同中挣得钱比他们在场上打球挣得要多。所以我们很明白这次决定并不是为了金钱。

对我而言,这是伟大的传承和NBA总冠军之间的抉择。

如果杜兰特没有离开,那么他将会是俄城的神。人们总是会对我说“我真开心你能够一直陪伴着我们”——没错,我在印第安纳步行者这所小球会里,一呆就是18个春夏秋冬。”

但是媒体们——虽然我现在也是他们中的一员——总是会说,“但是吧,雷吉-米勒他从来没有赢得过总冠军啊。”关于这点我表示理解。没有赢得总冠军,对我来说仍然是心头那条最深的伤疤。

我曾经历过六次东部决赛外加一次总决赛,但每次的结果都是铩羽而归,颗粒无收。所以我很同情杜兰特如今面临的两难抉择。有时候比赛中的一个篮板,一次争球,一记罚篮,一次盯人,一次卡位……都能够改变一切。曾经触手可及却最终失之交臂,这感觉简直糟透了。

然而,正是这一次次的为印城正名的战斗,在我心里,才是我这辈子最大的成就。

我曾输给过迈克尔-乔丹。我曾抗击过帕特里克-尤因和他的尼克斯。我曾惜败于拉里-伯德和他的凯尔特人。我也曾输给过以赛亚-托马斯和他的“坏小子军团”以及拥有大鲨鱼奥尼尔和便士哈达威的奥兰多魔术。

即便你最后没赢,你还是想和这些对手比试一番,和这些地球上最好的篮球运动员进行一次真刀真枪的较量。

在NBA,终点不是最重要的,最重要的是指引你通向终点的那段路。

这是杜兰特离开雷霆之后所失去的东西。这些东西举足轻重。如果他选择继续留在俄克拉荷马城,人们会说,“他把一切能够让他离开的选择都踩在脚下,继续以梦为马,仗剑天涯。”

即便杜兰特最终像我和约翰-斯托克顿这样坚守一处,或者像尤因和卡尔-马龙那样颠沛流离,但却都没能够赢得NBA总冠军,那么世人就会用另外一种眼光来看待他,因为他曾经同詹姆斯,斯蒂芬-库里,追梦格林,克里斯-保罗这些宿敌们殊死搏斗,而非加入他们。这对我而言就是真正伟大的神圣遗产。

当然如果能够同时拥有二者——你的王国和神圣的遗产,那便是非常幸运的事情了。然而能够享有这份奢华的人却凤毛麟角。

乔丹曾经拥有过,因为在他去奇才之前早已赢得六枚总冠军戒指。魔术师-约翰逊,拉里-伯德,科比-布莱恩特们都有过。甚至大梦哈基姆-奥拉朱旺也有过,鉴于他去猛龙之前也已经有了两枚总冠军戒指。

但是我不能把勒布朗放进这份名单中。他离开了他的克里夫兰王国转投了迈阿密。在那里,德维恩-韦德才是国王。

诚然,勒布朗为热火赢得了两枚总冠军。所以我很理解为什么杜兰特要效仿詹姆斯,加入其他的球队。我并不是想说他不能够重新证明自己,或者大家都去抓着他这个决定不放。

毕竟,赢球就能解决一切问题。

让我们假设勇士队接下来豪取三连冠。那么到那时人们回忆起现在这个时候,想到的还只是杜兰特叛逃俄城吗?或许不会。

此外,这也是个很重要的因素:球队老板们总是会背叛他们的球员。所以作为球员,你得做你心中认为正确的事情。对此我深信不疑。

但是当你作为球队当家,整支球队都是围绕你而组建的时候,事情就不同了。这对杜兰特来说尤其不同。他既拥有着球队的绝对话语权,身边又有着联盟前十,甚至是前五的球员:拉塞尔-威斯布鲁克。

当詹姆斯离开克里夫兰的时候,骑士队中仅有莫-威廉姆斯,瓦莱乔,大Z,丹尼尔-吉布森和一群路人甲。他身边的帮手没有一个人是威少这种级别的——甚至连史蒂文-亚当斯的级别都算不上。

相比较来看,杜兰特抛弃的并不是一支需要重建的球队。雷霆队今年常规赛排名联盟第五,在西部决赛中也曾3-1大比分领先过勇士队。他们原本应该下赛季再次站在这个舞台上的。

这也让我一直怀疑他到底有没有就离开俄城一事跟威少讨论过。

我一直在推测,或许杜兰特发现,如果他们已经默契配合了9年的组合下赛季还是不能够赢得总冠军的话,威少就打算明年夏天另谋高就。即便杜兰特今年夏天还是可以和雷霆签一份1+1的合同——那样的话他明年就可以和威少一起成为自由球员,他们之间的对话也至少也能从一定程度上解释他为什么要离开。

或许这一切决定都和威少将来可能的离开没有关系,甚至和二少之间的可能存在的任何矛盾冲突都没有关系。或许杜兰特想要赢得一枚总冠军的渴望太强烈了,又或许他想把这个休赛期作为他职业生涯的另一个起点。

在这里我只想说,杜兰特加入勇士有着一系列的铺垫:上涨的工资帽,雷霆在西部决赛的轰然倒塌,勇士在总决赛的卫冕失败。如果没有上述这一切,那么杜兰特就不会在新赛季成为一名勇士球员。

然而即便这些事情我都能理解,我还是想说,在小球市的球星们对他们的球迷有着更大的责任。

人们总会问我,“是什么让你为步行者队效力那么久?”

此时,我总会告诉他们这个最美好的答案:是商店的售货员,加油站的小工,酒店门童,餐厅服务生……所有这些球迷们与你一同欢笑一同呐喊,也在你输给奥尼尔,乔丹和尼克斯的时候与你一同悲伤一同哭泣。

是因为我们在一起一同经历。

倘若我加入别队,我将无法面对这些曾经支持过我的球迷们。我无法像詹姆斯在热火赢得总冠军一样,把这一切都抛之脑后。我无法面对那些当你没有赢得总冠军时对你不离不弃的印第安纳球迷们。我无法背着他们坦然地说出:“看,我赢得了总冠军!”

这是为什么我觉得杜兰特走了一条不必要的捷径。小球会的球迷们会与他们的球队同呼吸共命运,面对生死存亡,死心塌地不离不弃。在驱车去往球队季后赛的时候,你可以看到社区里几乎每条街上都有着孩子们悬挂着的球队标语和旗帜。

一想到这些曾经在印城的美好画面,我的心里就会热血沸腾。并不是说杜兰特在金州不会拥有这些。他可能会。但他现在的确是走进了别人的国度。

杜兰特可能会在勇士得到他想要的一切,但是都不会像他在雷霆得到这一切一样甜蜜。

别误解我的意思,杜兰特会是未来金州勇士队的头号球星。球场上的地位也会依次是杜兰特,库里,格林,汤普森。但是杜兰特会发现不论如何,他永远都是在库里的国度里打球。这是库里的球队:他随球队一路走来,他最先帮助球队赢得了总冠军。

如果杜兰特能够在雷霆赢得总冠军,那是再好不过的事情了。如果他能够加入一个此前并没有冲击总冠军实力的球队,也会是件更好的事情。

但是在雷霆赢得一枚总冠军,就像在勇士赢得三枚或者更多的总冠军一样。

在雷霆冲击总冠军失败,也比在勇士赢得任意数量的总冠军更加令人钦佩。

这只是我的一家之言。其他人可能会有不同看法。也许有人读完这篇文章后会说,“这是个从未赢得过总冠军的家伙写的。”对我来说完全没问题。再一次重申,我理解杜兰特的决定,我理解那种总冠军的诱惑。

在07-08赛季的时候,凯尔特人队曾想让我复出,随他们冲击总冠军。我没法这样做;我曾经也有过加入湖人队的机会。我也没法那样做。或许现在看来,我当时应该加入他们吧。

但是对我来说,一个国王是绝对不会离开他的王国的。


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