In Baseball, the New York Yankees. In the NFL, it’s the New England Patriots. And in the NBA? Recently it’s been wherever LeBron James is playing, but thanks to Kevin Durant choosing the Golden State Warriors as his new home, there’s a new Evil Empire.
The Warriors added Durant in the biggest free agency move since James left the Cavaliers in 2010 for the Miami Heat. It turned him into a heel in WWE terms, or more simply, a villain. Now people don’t feel as strongly about Durant as they do about James when it comes to… well… anything, but the reaction in social media, from NBA analysts and even from other players around the league suggest this wasn’t a very popular move.
The Warriors were likable when they won their first NBA championship in 2015 (with this current core, that is), but shades of arrogance, not to mention disgusting on-court behavior by Draymond Green didn’t help with their overall popularity. Add that to their record setting regular season, along with choking in the NBA finals, and the feeling that the NBA is telling referees to help them all along, makes them the perfect candidate to fill in the NBA’s villain role.
In this meme, for those who don’t understand, there are two references – One to the famous scene in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker to join him and transfer to the Dark Side, which is what Durant has done in the eyes of many. The other reference is to both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Warriors dropping a 3-1 lead in their playoff series in the playoffs, losing in game 7. Durant was on the Thunder team that lost to the Warriors in the conference finals. Curry was part of a Warriors team that became the first in NBA history to lose a 3-1 lead in the finals.