It has been nearly an entire year since Kevin Durant decided to leave the Thunder and go play for the Warriors, and for some reason, Doc Rivers has only just now unleashed the most passive-aggressive of all passive-aggressive commentary on the matter.
“It is tough when you see a guy join a team — in Durant’s case what he did this year,” the Clippers head coach said on Mike and Mike. “That was tough for anybody, anybody’s that’s competitive, to watch. He lost, and then he joined. Having said that, it was his choice, I have no problem with him, but it’s something from a competitive standpoint, you would think you wouldn’t do.”
This is a standard “back in my day” opinion to have and a classically old-man way to levy a shot here. It’s like a grandparent shaming you for smoking your first cigarette, reminding you that they love you anyway, but more importantly that you better not ever come back in their house smelling like tobacco. Doc is explicitly saying “I have no problem with you Kevin,” but implying something vastly different, probably because he’s the public face of another NBA team, which means he’s also a politician.
“I have no problem with him doing it, it’s just something from a competitive point, for me, I guess when I played it would have been tough for me to join Detroit,” Rivers continued. “Having said that, he has the ability to do it, guys are doing it, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The defeatist-sounding part at the end there is the key. There is nothing we can do about it. Just like how there was nothing Doc Rivers could have done to escape a sinking ship in Boston in 2013 after losing to the freaking Knicks with an aging version of the ship that won the 2008 title except — wait for it — engineer a move to the younger, sexier Los Angeles Clippers to take the fun out of Lob City until that team eventually lost steam and grew old together in similar fashion.
Kevin Durant, meanwhile, will compete in the Finals.
And Durant, let us not forget, met with the Clippers in free agency.