Perception is a funny and fickle thing. One minute you’re on top of the world and can do no wrong and the next, every decision you make is being questioned. This is true of all sports but seems to be particularly true in the NBA, where the amount of games played and the fact the rosters are small lends itself to criticizing individuals easily.
Social media only amplifies this chatter, and the truth is that perception can mean different things for different people. LeBron James for example, even if he wins another championship, tying him on five with the likes of Kobe Bryant, will still have people saying it falls short of Michael Jordan’s six.
Life moves quickly in the NBA, and in the case of these three players, it hasn’t all been for the better this season.
Kevin Durant might be a multiple-time NBA champion, but as he’s never won a title outside of the Bay Area, many are quick to discredit his successes. You get the picture. For the following three players, this season they have seen a perception shift firmly into the negative.
Interestingly, all three have a common thread as well. Young players who, while part of overachieving organizations or with expectations modest, were able to surpass these markers easily as a result of their skill and ability. These players, and teams, are easy to root for because we all like the idea of an up-and-coming group to shake up the established order.
Issues then begin to crop up, as they have for this group so far this season, when the goals are revised and made that bit harder. Whereas an unexpected run to the playoffs, or even winning a game or two once there, counted as a successful season before, it is suddenly the minimum requirement. That is easier said than done, no matter the talent level.