Last year, I was a non-believer.
That might sound odd to those of you who know me as the most optimistic writer on PtR's staff, but I assure you it's true. Every time any rumor started about LaMarcus Aldridge to the Spurs, and it happened with frightening regularity in 2015, I would immediately find a reason why it couldn't happen. I was determined not to get my hopes up only to have one more free agent play Lucy van Pelt to my Charlie Brown. I had experienced that enough, and I wasn't going to fall for it again.
You all know how that played out. Ime Udoka took a flight with Aldridge and the Spurs won free agency for the first time in recorded history. I had to eat a ton of crow and it tasted better than perhaps any crow ever has. Something else happened, I realized that I'd missed out on all of the fun of anticipation by refusing to consider the possibility that PATFO could get their man. Shoot, I wouldn't even admit the possibility that Aldridge was PATFO's man.
Anyway, I still haven't really learned my lesson (with the lesson being: it's more fun to anticipate good as a fan than it is to naysay and/or expect the worst), but I'm getting better.
This season, when the Kevin Durant might end up with the Spurs talk got started, I ignored it out of habit, maybe even out of principle. My first reaction was something along the lines of, "Durant is a superstar, and superstars don't sign with the Spurs." You know, the standard response. But the rumors continued, and as I began to see them more often I finally relented and talked with Phil Naessens about the possibility. Now new things are popping up on the subject quite frequently and it's getting hard to ignore. Then comes Zach Lowe.
Zach Lowe writes things about basketball. If you don't read him regularly, then you should. He's a very keen basketball mind and writes on every aspect of the game -- from X's and O's to trades and acquisitions. Here's what he said yesterday about where Kevin Durant would sign:
The Spurs buzz is ascendant in a way that is eerily similar to what happened last January at the D-League Showcase, when a half-dozen unconnected team executives warned me over the span of a few days that LaMarcus Aldridge would bolt from Portland for San Antonio...
And I've determined that I'm not going to look back three months from now and kick myself for doing the same thing two years in a row. To be clear, I'm not yet a Durant-believer, but I'm certainly not going to continue in disbelief. I guess I'd say that right now, I'm Durant-agnostic.
But that's a big step up from my default mode. We'll see where things go from here.