Here are some reasons why you might want to root for Kevin Durant to fail. You should feel free to pick from among them, or collect the whole set:
1. He is just as phony and brand-managed as the worst professional athletes out there—your A-Rods, your Derek Jeters, your Michael Jordans, and so on—but he has mostly gotten away with it because, once upon a time, LeBron James announced a free agency decision on national television, and Durant was first in line to play the Anti-LeBron. If you are creeped out by his phoniness, his cynical opportunism, and the way a lot of the sports media eats it up, this is a fine reason to root for him to fail.
2. He failed to beat the Golden State Warriors when his team had a 3-1 series lead. The Warriors are pure scum, and their march to an unprecedented season in 2015-16 was a manifestation of Satan’s influence on earth, and it was the solemn duty of the Thunder to defeat the evil Warriors and restore goodness and light to the land, and they failed. If that failure soured you on Kevin Durant, and you resent him for it enough to want him to suffer, this is a fine reason to root for him to fail.
3. He talked a lot of shit about loving Oklahoma City and having a special bond with the town and its fans and his fellow players and discouraged the sports media from even taking seriously the idea that he might go elsewhere in free agency, and then he took a few meetings in the offseason and went elsewhere in free agency. Because it is impossible to know whether he was genuinely tormented by the decision to leave or it was just more careful brand management, and because that uncertainty is the result of his pattern of careful brand management, you may find yourself disliking him and his hero persona more than ever. If so, this is a fine reason to root for him to fail.
4. The team he has joined, upon bolting from Oklahoma City, is a juggernaut. Yes, they play lovely basketball, and yes, a couple of their best players do genuinely superhuman-seeming things on a near nightly basis. They are also a juggernaut. If you think an upset of a juggernaut is the best and coolest thing that can happen in sports, and are therefore disinclined to root for anyone on the Warriors at any given moment, this is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
5. In addition to being a juggernaut, the Warriors have become the special unicorn-shaped crest of the terrible basketblogger horde, and their arena has been gentrified by Johnny-come-lately-ass Silicon Valley shitheads. And their best players are preening and/or dick-punching pissbabies. If you are incapable of rooting for a player who would join these shitheels on purpose, this is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
6. The Oklahoma City Thunder were dispatched from the playoffs by those same preening, dick-punching pissbabies. It was a well-played series, and the Thunder have an exciting roster, and they added Victor Oladipo, who is good, and there was every reason to think they’d be right back in Golden State’s grill, knocking them around and swatting their weak shit at the rim and dunking all over their crying-Jordan-ass faces. Instead of saying “motherfuck those Warriors motherfuckers” and becoming Golden Skeletor, Durant kicked dirt all over the potential rivalry and joined up with his tormentor. Yes, Durant merely switched jobs, and yes, this is his right, and no, that’s not a moral failure. But! If you find this capitulation disappointing, and are bummed by how it shatters the much more fascinating narrative of athletes being maniacally invested in killing their foes single-handedly, this is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
7. Kevin Durant plays for the Golden State Warriors. The Golden State Warriors will spend the length of Kevin Durant’s tenure trying to beat the other 29 NBA teams at basketball. If you are a fan of one of those other 29 teams, and therefore root against every team that is not your team, this is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
8. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and the sky is heavy and grey and water is falling from it and you forgot to flip the laundry last night so you have to wear the same pants you wore yesterday, only you sat on a felt-tip pen yesterday and Bob from the next cubicle noticed the spot and made a smart-ass comment about it, and there is no way he won’t notice it again today, and so you have to wear something that will cover the spot, but the only thing you have to cover the spot is a too-long sweater your mom gave you for your birthday that year when she apparently thought you were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and which is ugly and has sleeves that need to be rolled until they are as big around as a monster truck tire in order to not spill over your hands and make you look like Tom Hanks’ character in the last scene of Big, when he is no longer an adult. And so you are in a not great mood on that day, and then you see that the 81-0 Warriors are playing against the 0-81 Wizards and think, “motherfuck those Warriors motherfuckers,” because why should they get everything they want when you are having to choose between catching shit from Bob for a stupid ink stain on your pants or a sweater that looks like you stole it from the BFG. This is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
9. The NBA is a sports league. Basketball is a sport. It is impossible to be wrong rooting for one player or team or another in a spectator sport, unless you are Kevin Draper. Kevin Draper roots for the Warriors, and will be rooting for Kevin Durant. This is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
10. If several days of social media tut-tutting about Durant’s labor mobility have made you want to punt the whole NBA universe into a toilet, this is a fine reason to root for Durant to fail.
These have been some reasons why you should root for Kevin Durant to fail. May you understand them cognitively and exercise your free will.