When A Punk Ass Move is Everything You Need It to Be: The Road to an NBA Championship
This week in sports, Kevin Durant and his Golden State Warriors were able to capture his first NBA championship in game 5 of The Finals. With his mom, family, and thousands of ride-or-die fans watching, he was also crowned the Finals MVP. And although plenty of critics tried shaming Durant for making his decision last year to leave Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors, it did absolutely nothing to prevent him from attaining the goal that evades so many NBA greats.
I have to admit, I was also turned off (in a major way) when Durant made “The Decision” to leave Oklahoma to go to Oakland, California. It was even more irritating for me to know that he’d made that decision right after Golden State handed him one of the most humbling and thorough thrashings of his career during that 2016 Western Conference Finals. Durant’s decision was the admission that so many people I’ve known my whole life have tried to avoid. He admitted that he couldn’t do it on his own. To many, Durant’s decision to move was THE punk ass move of all punk ass moves.
What is a Punk Ass Move?
Growing up in my community in Flint, Michigan, I learned that a punk ass move (PAM) is a social cue. It is a signal that it (whatever it is) is not within your grasp. A PAM is something to be ashamed of because it shows your weakness(es) and every witness knows that you are not the biggest nor the baddest person, setting you up for judgment and public shaming because people see you as “less than” the illusion of whatever you are supposed to be.
The perfect example of a PAM is walking away from a fist fight once you’ve talked all the talk and “chested” up with your enemy, establishing that you are a warrior capable of carrying out what you’ve said. That said, NO PERSON can just walk away from that fight because you’ve advertised and “sold the tickets.” The fight HAS to happen. Win or lose, walking away is not an option.
To many, Kevin Durant chested up and talked the talk, but when things got rough, he turned his back and walked away from the faithful team and fans who helped to make him League MVP and Scoring Champ during his time in Oklahoma City. For some, that is truly unforgivable. Or is it? We could ask Lebron James and Shaquille O’Neal who both left beloved teams to chase their first rings and whatever came next. And there are quite a few Pro Bowlers who could also speak to this point in their quest for a Super Bowl Championship. John Caliparri had quite a few NCAA players who met up in Kentucky for the “one and done” Big One. And how about the Republicans who became The Tea Party when conservative wasn’t conservative enough to win the White House? (You win some. You lose some.)
Simply put, Durant’s move was everything he needed it to be as he recreated himself and his opportunity to chase the dream he’d had since childhood. Ultimately, I think it should be noted that Kevin Durant became even more of a break out player because of the vulnerability that he allowed himself to have that many other NBA greats and others were not willing to concede. He let down his guard to admit that he had not yet grown into the greatness he had envisioned for himself from childhood to unite with others who also needed a little help being their best selves, a concept some of us have known since we were kids.
At the end of the day, I believe this taste of victory is only the start of something big for the Real MVP because his punk ass move was everything he needed it to be and there really isn’t anything punk ass about that.