Kevin Durant puts Twitter troll in his place after Nets sign LaMarcus Aldridge

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Kevin Durant had a clear message for Twitter trolls after the Brooklyn Nets added LaMarcus Aldridge.

On Saturday, the Brooklyn Nets added a player who used to be a star once upon a time … so of course NBA Twitter had to log on and complain about it.

From “The NBA is fixed!” to “It’s just unfair the Nets keep adding so much talent!” people had plenty to gripe about with the news that LaMarcus Aldridge would be joining a title contender in Brooklyn.

Never mind that the dude’s 35 years old, a shell of his former superstar self and probably just wants to win a championship before his time in the league is done. Never mind that it was the San Antonio Spurs who bought him out. And never mind that the Nets literally had no advantage in signing him other than a front office that spent the last few years positioning itself to acquire star talent by building a more attractive roster for prospective free agents.

No, the main takeaway was that the rich get richer, especially for teams in big markets.

The big market vs. small market concerns are legitimate, but it wasn’t long before people were pulling connections out of thin air, comparing this Nets super-team to the last super-team that “ruined” the NBA: the Golden State Warriors.

The common denominator, of course, is Kevin Durant. One Twitter user pointed that out, tagging KD in the process. Durant responded, saying, “I see you took all this personally lmao,” to which another Twitter troll replied, “I see you can’t lead a team on your own.”

At that point, KD fired back with an honest dose of reality:

The truth is Kevin Durant’s greatest argument in this never-ending debate

Anyone bemoaning “super-teams” in the NBA just needs to stop. Remember when LeBron James “ruined the NBA” by refusing to do things the “old-fashioned way” and teaming up with his friends on the Miami Heat? Nobody was saying much when they went to the NBA Finals four straight times and won two championship.

But then Kevin Durant somehow made it even worse by joining the Warriors after losing to them in the Western Conference Finals. Never mind that people had been saying for years that Russell Westbrook was holding him back on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Never mind that the Warriors had to draft exceptionally well for years and shed considerable depth from their 73-win team to make this once-in-a-lifetime pairing happen. And never mind that Durant wound up being vindicated by winning two titles and two Finals MVPs in back-to-back years with the Dubs.

No, it was Kevin who ruined the NBA, and now he’s doing it again in Brooklyn!

What an unconscionably dumb train of thought. First of all, even though it was James Harden who forced his way out of Houston, it wasn’t his decision to trade himself to the Nets. The Rockets had lost plenty of leverage and needed to send him somewhere, but Brooklyn was just another team on Harden’s wish list. They could’ve sent him anywhere. They sent him to Brooklyn, and aside from the haul of first-round draft picks, they got a pretty crappy return for him too.

That’s on the Rockets’ front office, not Harden or KD.

Second of all, anyone acting like Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge are still two of the best three power forwards in the league like they once were needs a reality check. Griffin is 32 years old and has been broken down by injuries over the last few years. People were surprised to learn he could still dunk at all, and it wasn’t a sure thing he’d even be good at this point, even in a more limited bench role.

The same is true of Aldridge, who is 35, averaging a mere 13.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season and will likely be confined to a reserve role. His 3-point shooting, playoff experience and scoring ability will help an already formidable offense, but he’s a major minus defensively, and the novelty here lies in his name and the depth he provides, not the current star power he brings to the table.

There’s a reason no one wanted to trade for him and the San Antonio Spurs — who were significantly better with him off the floor — ultimately bought him out.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that we’re in an age of player empowerment … and that’s a good thing. People complain about super-teams until they’re transfixed by those clashes among titans in the Finals. They bemoan the “lack of parity” or “how unfair” super-teams are until they actually look at the lay of the land this year and realize as many as 7-8 teams could realistically win it all. And, saying nothing of how exciting trade season and free agency is now, they gripe over how players were “loyal” in the “good ol’ days” while forgetting owners could pull the trigger on a trade and just uproot an entire player’s life. Where’s the loyalty there?

For those concerned about the competitive balance, Brooklyn’s latest acquisitions feel a lot more like Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Los Angeles Lakers to try and win a title way past their prime than the making of a legitimate super-team; Brooklyn’s super-team stage was already achieved just by putting KD, Harden and Kyrie Irving together. This is simply extra depth with names you recognize.

But the biggest point in KD’s favor is the simple fact that no player in NBA history — not Durant, not LeBron, not Michael Jordan, not anyone — has ever won a ring by themselves. That’s a message that transcends basketball or sports in general, and one people need to take into account before lightening up a bit.

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