Free agency opens up teams more than ever to erode the ability of a player to stay put for his entire career. Couple that with so many players being familiar with each other from a young age from basketball camps and AAU teams, that the familiarity breeds companionship rather than competitiveness. That isn’t to say you don’t still have some rivalries that reach into the realm of irrational thought (Just ask a Grizzlies fan how they feel about the Clippers) but the time of the Celtics-Lakers is mostly over.
That’s where Lil B fits in. Weirdo rapper Lil B, known best for his proficient output, strange persona and his campaigning for all things to be “Based”, kind of surprised people when he came out saying he has “cursed” Durant and he will never win a championship. The Based God then followed up with a diss track of Kevin Durant called “Fuck KD”
The initial shot fired from KD was that he questioned Lil B’s rap skills, which is an argument made by many, many people, and then Lil B drew swords. Since then the curse has mostly held up, Durant has only had one finals appearance, did not win it and has suffered through a couple of injuries. Anytime Durant has a poor performance, the Curse is alive.
It works, in part because it’s a conflict that can never be resolved. Although Lil B has proclaimed his prowess in basketball, even trying out for a D League team, he won’t be able to match up against Durant on an NBA court to prove that he’s better. And it serves him better not too, by both guys bloviating on the sidelines, the conflict can arise to a fever pitch and get fans of neither or both involved to drag each other through the mud. It reeks of a well thought out wrestling card, by both men playing face and heel just enough to keep everyone guessing if the rivalry is legitimate.
But everything about it smells sincere. Durant is a powerful shooter, having lead the league in scoring twice and his teams lack of playoff success carries more to some bad bench units against a powerful Western Conference. He won last year’s MVP award and although he’s gotten a little saltier in the last couple of season, still seems to be well liked. So why would Lil B go after him unless he truly didn’t like him? The Based God spreads his love to many in the NBA, specifically lesser known players and even Durant’s teammate Reggie Jackson, but seems to hold things like defense and assists in high regard. (Just listen to his basketball themed mixtape Hoop Life ) And B has chided Durant for not being steeped in the fundamentals. Does he really just dislike his game and want to see him suffer? Or is this another strange gimmick in the Based World? Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on both of them.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : read more of Andy Livingstone’s work at Elevator Doors, or follow him on Twitter : @elevator_doors)