OKC Thunder Have Learned Their Lessons, Will Be Unstoppable Next Season
The sight of a grown man sobbing doesn't usually strike fear into the hearts of onlookers, but that's exactly what should have happened when basketball fans around the world witnessed Kevin Durant sobbing while embracing his mother at the end of the 2012 NBA Finals.
Durant, who has led the league in scoring during each of the past three seasons and is only improving, soaked in every painful moment following the conclusion of Game 5. He understood that LeBron James had been validated and enjoying himself like he never had before.
The pure onslaught of emotion when Durant saw his parents proves just how much the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder cares about the sport of basketball, his ongoing quest to win his first title and making his reign as the "Best Player in the World Without a Ring" a short one.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
When the Thunder took on the Miami Heat, they attempted to skip one of the crucial steps necessary to become NBA champions: heartbreak, utter despair and the resiliency that comes with it if one is willing to put in the work.
Throughout the annals of NBA history, it's quite difficult to find a superstar who won a title right off the bat. Bill Walton and the Portland Trail Blazers did so in 1977 while inspiring Blazermania. Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers won in 1980 during the point guard/center's rookie season.
That's just about it though.
Now we can say that both bounced back and came out on top. If a player is great enough, failing once isn't simply failure, but rather, a stepping stone on the way to success.
Durant and the rest of the Thunder now have the bitter taste of failure clinging to their collective taste buds until the 2012-2013 season begins and they start anew. As young and motivated as they are, you can be quite sure that they'll hate the taste as much as anything.
The Thunder were tested on the biggest stage this sport has to offer and failed. They dealt with the humiliation of defeat, the anguish of watching the other team hold the trophy and the disappointment of unrealized potential following a lot of hard work.
That said, they gained valuable experience. James Harden now knows that he's supposed to continue to play basketball after advancing beyond the Western Conference Finals. Russell Westbrook now knows that he's going to have to slightly alter his playing style.
Scott Brooks is going to deal with criticisms about his rotations and strategies for the entire off-season (although he may not even be back as the team's coach).
Durant is just going to want to get better.
This team was unstoppable enough during the 2011-2012 season and bull-rushed their way through the playoffs until running into a black and red juggernaut. With even more motivation and experience, unstoppable won't be a strong enough word next year.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?