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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Kevin Durant became a trending topic in response to Shohei Ohtani signing

Kevin Durant on the court

Mar 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani on Saturday announced that he would be signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency. He is getting a 10-year, $700 million deal, which is the largest guaranteed contract in pro sports.

After Ohtani’s choice was publicized, Kevin Durant started to trend on the social media site X. Specifically, the phrase “KD to the Warriors” started to trend. Why? People were comparing Ohtani’s decision to sign with the Dodgers to Durant’s decision in 2016 to join the Warriors.

To be fair, some of those responses were in replies to a prompt asking people to put Ohtani’s decision in basketball terms.

Despite what people thought, there is no comparison between what Durant did and what Ohtani is doing.

Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder very nearly beat the Warriors in the conference finals before KD left OKC to join Golden State. He was close to eliminating them just on his own team with Russell Westbrook. So of course having him join the team that knocked him out would make them much better. Contrarily, not only did the Angels fail to make the postseason once with Ohtani on the team, they never even had a winning season. He won MVP in 2023 and the Angels still finished 73-89.

In basketball, stars dominate the game much more than baseball. If you get three stars on the same team like the Warriors did with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, plus Draymond Green, it’s over. Even if one or two of their players have a bad game once, they still have enough stars to pick up the slack and win that same game. In baseball, an ace pitcher can shut down an entire lineup of stars. Your best baseball players still fail to get a hit 7 out of 10 times. You can add as many stars as you want but still not have as high of a likelihood of winning a championship in baseball compared to in basketball.

The Dodgers’ stars Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts were great in the regular season. But in the small sample size of a 5-game playoff series, anything can happen. Freeman and Betts went cold in the playoffs this year against Arizona, and the Dodgers were eliminated.

Over the course of Ohtani’s 10-year contract, the Dodgers should win a World Series or two. But expecting any sort of Warriors-like run is completely unrealistic.

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