What if Rose & Durant fail in the next couple of years?

An interesting read over at Hardwood Paroxysm

Basically, it's an article comparing Rose and Durant to LeBron.  Not in the way you would immediately think.

Durant and Rose are extolled for what they’ve done to bring their respective teams to a contending level, but this is hardly unmarked territory. If there is any precedent, it lies in 2007. In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron James scored 48 points (and 29 of the last 30 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers) in a momentum-shifting victory against the defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons. James’ performance was one of the most astonishing playoff outings in recent memory. Every shot in that sequence of events, from the fourth quarter through double overtime, was an affirmation of James’ unflappable desire to win. And in just his third season in the league, he made it to the NBA Finals. He was only 22.

Durant and Rose will learn, just as James did, that reaching that top plateau means any step backward will spark doubt and backlash. We’re told to expect greatness, and there’s nothing wrong with expectation. But what happens if neither the Thunder nor the Bulls make the Conference Finals in the next two years? How long do Durant and Rose have before they are tossed to the wolves? Or will the wolves come at all?

It gets you thinking.  The Bulls and Thunder have been the darlings of the NBA for the last couple of years due to Durant and Rose but if these two stars fail to win a championship in the near future, will the 'wolves' come out?  Much of the reason Derrick gets so much MVP love is because of the story that's unfolding for him at such a young age.  Similar to the MVP talk that followed Durant last year.  Only difference is that Durant wasn't near the top of the Western Conference standings so the votes never really came. 

Entering the 2010-2011 season, who was the consensus pick to win the MVP?  It was Durant. 

Not much has changed with KD this year and yet you never really hear his name come up in the discussions.  He's nearly the same player he was.  It's just that the league now has a new toy to play with and his name is Derrick Rose.  But as all of us know, toys get old just like stories.  Will they get scrutinized then as much as they're getting praised on now?  Time will tell but it sure looks like it if they don't do something about it soon.

Also another thing on the article . .

The similarities between James and Rose are clear and distinct. Rose has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate in his third year, largely due to the introduction of Coach Tom Thibodeau, the defensive mastermind setting the Bulls’ greatest strength in motion. In Chicago’s middling offense, Rose is the primary, secondary, and tertiary options, which somehow aligns itself well with the team’s overall commitment to defense. If images of Mike Brown’s second year and the soloistic performances of a young LeBron James come to mind, it’s only natural. But if Rose is indeed on James’ path, what could it mean for his future?

For Durant, it’s different. So much has been done to portray Durant as the anti-LeBron. This isn’t to say that there is any ill will between the two, but Durant has cultivated an image based on a wholesome personality and a dedication to the team aspect of the sport. It just happens to be the opposite of our current projection of James. We swoon over Durant’s talent and he hardly ever disappoints. But in the end, if Durant isn’t able to make it through in the clutch, our perception can easily shift in the future, pulling Durant closer and closer to the current image of James.

Rose is just as different to LeBron as KD is.  They're both humble superstars at a very young age who are embracing their roles in their respectable cities they play in.  Only thing similar to LeBron and Rose was being picked number 1 overall by your hometown team.  Big difference is, Rose wants to stay there.


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