‘Tis the time of year to deflect all the past week’s frustration and anger onto athletes who took the easy road out; those who didn’t want to grind and win in the city that loves them so dearly; those who chose to write their name on a piece of paper to punch their ticket to Championshipland; those who (have you guessed yet) make me tear my hair out.
Time to count down the 4 biggest snakes in sports history.
4. DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans to Golden State Warriors, NBA
This transfer has the magnitude to claim the #2 or #3 spot; however, because of his Achilles injury at the end of last season, Boogie Cousins won’t be suiting up until about halfway through the 2018-19 NBA season.
During their time of domination, the Warriors have been a team that has struggled with low post concreteness, as exemplified by Zaza Pachulia being the starting center. It seemed that the Achilles heel (no pun intended) of the Warriors was the 5-spot. But no more, as arguably the best big man in the league signed a one-year, 5.3 million dollar deal.
Cousins knew he wouldn’t win anything in New Orleans. He and Anthony Davis had the ability to dominate the low-post league-wide, but Boogie Cousins wants rings and he wants them now. In all honesty, the Pels squad last year had the ability to take down the Warriors assuming a healthy Demarcus Cousins; but hey, if you can’t beat them, join them.
Now, the Warriors can start 5 all-stars in a lineup that has no foreseeable weaknesses when Cousins takes the floor. Should be a fun season!!! (Screw you, Boogie).
3. Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal to Manchester United, British Premier League
Sanchez has been at the top of the game for attackers in Britain’s Premier League. Arsenal was home to Sanchez – it was where he spent the majority of his career and won many titles with a squad that, without him, had no business taking home hardware: 1 English Super Cup and 2 English FA Cups. On top of that, the Chilean tallied 85 goals and 45 assists in his time at Arsenal and clocked over 13,000 minutes of play for the club. He helped lift the club to new heights it wouldn’t have seen without Alexis- before his arrival Arsenal had often struggled to find a steady and concrete striker.
When Sanchez decided to cash out and join Mourinho’s squad in Manchester, people were outraged. Yet another big name talent choosing money and trophies over dedication to a club. It happens all too often today.
The biggest cause for outrage though was the fact that Manchester United, on paper, is one of the best clubs in the world. On top of that, they already have an ace striker in Romelu Lukaku, so Sanchez’s time would be limited. Essentially, he transferred for, in the words of Wu-Tang, “dolla dolla bill y’all.” This move has been heavily frowned upon, as it should be.
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers to Miami Heat, NBA
Before you file for a hitman, let me just say that I am a LeBron fan. Everything he has done for the NBA and for generations to come is incredible; we owe him a debt we cannot repay in any way. But c’mon, when he left to take his talents to South Beach that was a little iffy.
He built his entire career on being the kid from Akron that will bring home a ring for Ohio, but then he kind of just…dipped out. Sure, he won back to back titles in Miami, but the move was questionable. Especially when considering that he promised Miami seven championships during their pre-season hype parade – Cleveland felt like he had totally forgotten about them.
On top of this, James’ move to Miami catapulted the NBA into the “superteam” era we all know and love today. A snakey move, yes, but it would be exponentially more so if he hadn’t come back home and delivered a title.
And now, the coveted center spot on the Los Angeles Lakers belongs to the King. Some may deem this a snakey move, but considering everything, it is not. This is simply a veteran going to a squad full of youth talent in an attempt to harness the potential of this team. The ceiling is high for this Lakers team, and Bron just wants to expedite the growth of these young men into superstars.
Lebron didn’t leave to join a superteam, nor did he cash out (he would have received a max contract no matter the team). In a way, this move is the opposite of snakey – he unselfishly left his hometown to help a talented group of young stars reach their utmost potential.
1. Kevin “Hisssssss” Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder to Golden State Warriors, NBA
Oh boy, do I f****ng hate this dude. The very term “snake” was made mainstream by this guy; he is the literal definition of a snake. Sure, he’s getting gifted championship after championship, but surely they feel hollow, right? Nah. KD doesn’t care, as long as there is ice on his fingers, any team logo could be on that ring and he wouldn’t think twice about it.
Warriors vs. Thunder, Western Conference finals. The Thunder blew a lead in the series to only lose 3 consecutive games and get beaten by the Warriors – a team with increasing hype as the splash brothers we’re making a name for themselves and, don’t forget, a bench squad worth dying for.
So the Thunder loses, and what does KD do? Signs with the very team that beat him, leaving Russell Westbrook to his own tools. Essentially, a “screw you dude, I want rings.”
This gets me angry just writing about it.
KD goes and joins, record-speaking, the best team in NBA history. He, by all means, doesn’t care what anybody says, and took the easy road.
Social media was outraged by this move, hence the birth of the term “snake”. All sports fans from all corners of the Earth scolded KD for signing with a powerhouse like the Warriors. Why he didn’t stay with Westbrook and give the Warriors another run for their money in the next season? Who knows?
KD attributes his move to a love for California (can’t blame him) and the fanbase (also can’t blame him), but everyone with any common sense knows this transfer was 99.9% ring-motivated.
I’m glad he got those rings though, and I am glad they have the Warriors logo etched into them forever because to him it should mean nothing if it isn’t the Thunder logo.
But…with all that being said…please come to the Wizards.