Everyone is so sure Kevin Durant got injured because of the Lil’ B curse. That’s old news. The current injury happens to be because he won the MVP last season. Something happens to players who take away the award from LeBron James during his reign.
Just ask Derrick Rose, who won in 2011 because of how hated James was for one season. He’s still got plenty of hate coming at him from every direction and often without any good reason. James might have rubbed some people the wrong way with the arrogance of the Decision, but he’s not someone who has done even something remotely controversial off the court to warrant such strong feelings about him. Maybe except his always changing hairline.
Rose won the MVP, and since then doesn’t remember what it’s like to be healthy. He missed almost half of the following season before going down in the first playoff game of 2012 against the Philadelphia 76ers. He played just ten regular season games over the next two seasons, and is making yet another comeback now.
Durant overtook LeBron James last season as the best player in the NBA. Or at least had a better season than James. He averaged 32 points a game, looked almost unstoppable for most of the regular season, and cut James’ bid to win three consecutive MVP titles. Most people would still pick James as the best player in the league, but the margin is almost non existent at this point. And now this injury happens.
James has won four MVP awards since entering the NBA. He won it in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Some might argue that he deserved the award even sooner than in 2009, and that might fall in line with Bryant playing injured during the 2008-2009 season, although it didn’t stop him from winning the NBA champions. Curses don’t usually have happy endings in real life. This isn’t a Disney movie.
If voters weren’t so affected by public opinion and hype, James would have won the MVP in 2011. I don’t know what it would have meant about his future chances. Just like in the Academy Awards, sometimes it’s not about the actual season but other conditions apply, like giving someone else the award and cooling down a player – humbling him. But maybe James would have won five in a row, and would be heading to six if it wasn’t for Durant last year. No one argued about it. This season we’ll get to learn just how important Durant is to the Thunder, as he’s hardly missed any games since entering the league.
James didn’t make his curse public. He didn’t go out on a public feud with Kevin Durant. Maybe two cases of injuries and MVPs isn’t enough to build a strong case against the dark powers we don’t understand. But two times during the prime of LeBron James and close to his own MVP coronations, players who have taken the award from him have gotten hurt. We can’t really prove there is a curse, but it’s also impossible right now to prove there isn’t. We’ll know for sure when the 2014-2015 season ends.