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Five years ago yesterday, the course of NBA history changed forever. Lil B, the Based God, tweeted the following fateful words:
What ensued was five years of chaos. Durant's team, Oklahoma City, was trounced by the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals the following year. The curse was briefly lifted and then reinstated, emphatically, with a song called "Fuck KD," which condemned Durant to another failed playoff run in 2014. A tape called Hoop Life asserted Lil B's basketball prowess. Other players like James Harden found themselves in the curse's crosshairs and stumbled, too. Meanwhile, propelled by the power of Based God, the Golden State Warriors, his home team, went on to win last year's championship and continued the hot streak into this year, finishing the season with the best record in NBA history.
But now, on the five-year anniversary of the curse being cast, we've found ourselves in an unlikely place: Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder have the Warriors on the ropes in the Western Conference Finals. OKC leads Golden State three games to one as they head into tonight's game. One more loss and the ostensible best-ever NBA team, Lil B's team, will have fallen to the literally cursed Durant. How is that possible? Is the Based God's magic wearing thin? This would be even more of a statistical anomaly than Steph Curry's season of three-point shooting. So, curious, we asked Lil B himself to find out what's going on.
"I’m loving it," he said of the series when we reached him on the phone yesterday. "It’s great to see Kevin Durant fighting the curse with Lil B. It’s extremely beautiful to see, and I’m very proud of it. Westbrook’s playing great." Lil B hasn't given up on his home team, but he does have a respect for Durant's tenacity in the face of the curse. In fact, it may be that very challenge that has elevated Durant's play.
"I mean, the Warriors are amazing," B continued. "Coming off this season, we’re trying to make even more history. So I mean we’re playing good, and let’s keep playing. But yeah, I mean, shout out to Kevin Durant, man. I think the biggest thing that we’re seeing out of anything, like, him winning the games, what’s going on, is that he’s fighting the curse. He wants to beat the curse. Now the thing is, if he wins this championship, he could make history. He could rewrite history. This curse is serious."
So are the Warriors in trouble? Not exactly. The curse is still in their favor. But the unexpected result of Durant fighting the curse is that it may have made him stronger than ever.
Kyle Kramer is hoping Durant can't beat the curse. Follow him on Twitter.