Sports fans and social media.
Put them together and you get things like what I just witnessed.
Yesterday NBA star Kawhi Leonard requested the San Antonio Spurs trade him.
The immediate response by some of the team’s fans was this here.
Here is a question for the sports lovers out there:
How much does a player have to do for an organization for the fans of said organization to just allow him to leave in peace?
Kawhi Leonard has been one of the most consistent and reliable stars on any team since he stepped foot into the NBA.
Check his resume:
Add to those numbers an NBA Championship, an NBA Finals MVP, making the All-Rookie team, 2 Defensive POTY awards, 2 All-Star Game appearances, 3 All-Defensive Team appearances, and being voted to the All-NBA Team twice…in only 7 seasons.
After an injury-plagued, controversial 2017-2018 in San Antonio; the man who waited his turn to be “the man”, while respectfully deferring to the great Tim Duncan until the very end (not to mention sitting back while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili still soaked up the usage numbers when it was clear that Kawhi should already have been given the keys to the Spurs’ proverbial car), wants a new opportunity for himself.
And the fans are mad? Like…burning his jersey mad?
I don’t know whether to chalk this up to sports fanatics being unreasonable brats or folks grasping at their 15 minutes of social media fame/infamy.
Don’t get me wrong.
Passion is everything when it comes to being a fan. And if jersey burning is considered a legitimate response to a player’s alleged betrayal in some people’s eyes, hey…have at it. You paid for it. Burn it.
But here’s the thing: even if you are down with this type of reaction, this just isn’t a jersey burning moment.
Now I am one who had no issue with Kevin Durant leaving OKC. But if that’s your squad and you felt betrayed because that Thunder team was your percieved chance at NBA immortality…ok. Burn KD’s jersey right on up.
And if you sat there as a Cavs fan watching Lebron James with his made for tv “The Decision” ordeal and took that ‘taking my talents to Miami’ dagger to heart, burn baby burn.
–Again, this is all IF you think that jersey burning is a legit response to an athlete leaving your team–
But Kawhi Leonard though?
The man that most people have never even heard speak before?
The quiet assassin who kept Lebron in check on the way to helping earn the Spurs franchise’s most recent title?
The hustle and “defense first” guy?
Nahhhh, Davy Crockett. This ain’t your great great great grandfather’s Alamo…but try to remember.
This is one of those individuals that you must appreciate not hate.
Clearly something isn’t right between Leonard and the organization.
Appreciate the good times, and move on.
This isn’t the moment to burn bridges…or River Walks…or jerseys.