On Monday 4th July 2016, the NBA died.
The Golden State Warriors – the 2015 champions, the 2016 runners up and the record holders for most wins in a regular season – signed Kevin Durant in free agency.
Let’s just put this into context a little:
Durant has been the leading NBA scorer in four of the last seven seasons. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player two seasons ago and is a seven-time All Star.
He joins a squad with Steph Curry, who is the current MVP, current NBA scoring champion and current NBA steals leader.
Klay Thompson, the current NBA Three-Point Contest champ and two-time All Star, and Draymond Green, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year runner up, are also Durant’s new teammates.
Never before has an NBA team held so much star power in the primes of their careers. The Golden State Warriors are, unsurprisingly, overwhelming 10/11 favourites to win the NBA title next year.
With all that out of the way, a word for the team Durant leaves behind; the Oklahoma City Thunder.
They reached the NBA Finals in 2012 and, in this year’s playoffs were one win away from knocking the Warriors out of the postseason. In the end they threw away a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Now, they are left as a forlorn footnote in the betting as their star player decided to join the team he couldn’t beat.
Before Durant’s market-shattering decision, the Thunder were a 9/1 chance to win the NBA title. Those odds would have made them the third-favourites. Today, we make them a massive 25/1 chance. Five teams are shorter.
RIP the NBA, it was fun while it lasted.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.