The Kevin Durant, LeBron James situations remind us that in the NBA, expectation is often more thrilling than reality.

Nothing quite impresses NBA fans like a juicy, juicy, superstar trade request or a ripe, bold, free agency decision just waiting to be plucked off the vine.

For example, this offseason saw blockbuster trades for an All-NBA center in Rudy Gobert and an All-Star point guard in DeJohnette Murray — moves that significantly changed the landscape of both conferences. could and eventually create two new, legitimate title contenders.

yawn Old news.

Instead, we continue to focus our smartphone-era attention on Kevin Durant’s pending divorce from the Brooklyn Nets and LeBron James’ potential free agency — which just won’t happen. next In the very milliseconds of offseason one transaction is completed, we turn our sights to the next like a game of NBA Transaction Whack-A-Mole.

Before retweeting the Gobert Deal news, for example, we all wanted to know what the Utah Jazz were going to do with their other All-Star, Donovan Mitchell. It is only natural. Just look at it Vogue And you’ll see plenty of glimpses of the Spring 2023 collections — not retrospectives on the lines from last Summer 2022.

What is to come is always more interesting than what has already happened.

Jordan Peele, the actor and filmmaker who has built a successful directorial career with horror films like “Get Out,” “Hum” and the newly released “No,” sums up the nature of suspense eloquently. , and how expectations factor in. Often more powerful than anything shown on screen.

Peele said during an interview with the American Film Institute, “Look at ‘Blair Witch,’ it’s one of the scariest movies ever made. Nothing happens.” “It all feeds into what, along with fear, is the scariest thing you can do to drive the audience’s imagination crazy, and they’re trying to figure out where he is.”

Peele not only describes the titillating effect of suspense, but also how revealing what the audience has been building up in their heads can ultimately lead to disappointment.

“I think, often what happens in a horror movie, a lot of horror movies that probably work less for me, is, the second you see the monster you’re like, ‘Ah, okay. I thought. That would look like a monster, well, we’ll deal with it.’ But, you know, that’s the rule of ‘Jaws,’ right? Don’t show that monster too long.”

*Warning: Video contains a naughty word*

The monster Durant trade, potential LeBron signing or potential future transaction is du jour for NBA fans, and we’re currently sitting nervously through the first act of the movie, when anticipation is king.

As we speak, fans of 29 other NBA teams are giving record numbers to trade machine sites, paving the way wide for Durant to land his own franchise. Likewise, Cleveland diehards envision a grand reunion in which LeBron leaves the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles to join the Cavaliers’ up-and-coming young core and win the city another title.

The possibilities are endless, but they won’t last forever.

We only need to look at Durant’s history to see how quickly expectation can turn to disappointment. As the most sought-after free agent in the 2016 class, Durant reportedly held meetings with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs amid the posh backdrop of the Hamptons. Signing with any of those franchises, or returning to the current Oklahoma City Thunder, would have changed their fortunes immensely.

Instead he hitched his wagon to the 73-win Golden State Warriors, and was quickly accused of being a cowardly, cheating code — unfairly building an undefeated team in the game. destroyed the equality of After winning two titles in two seasons, speculation of another Durant departure resurfaced during his third year with Golden State, fueled by an on-court blowup with Draymond Green that led to speculation. Views spread.

Sure enough, Durant entered free agency again in 2019, this time opting to join Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets — a situation in which the team’s expectations have far exceeded reality.

So here we are again. Durant’s next destination has been the heartbeat of the NBA rumor mill for over a month now, and, chances are, the results pale in comparison to what we’re seeing in our imaginations. If he gets traded to, let’s say, the Heat or the Suns, 29 other fan bases will immediately lose interest. There is also the realistic possibility that Durant simply withdraws his application and suits up for the Nets again next season. it is Definitely happened beforeSuperstars like Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon eventually have to compromise with ownership to stay with their franchises.

James May sign extension with Lakers. This summer, temporarily putting an end to Cleveland talk and forcing us to find another star in a new uniform to Photoshop.

The point is, let’s enjoy the suspense while we can. It’s essentially unprecedented that a superstar like Durant has requested a trade with four years remaining on his contract, and the league is in a position where his presence could turn any number of teams into championship favorites. can do James might go down as the best game ever, so his final act sequence is one we can’t wait to see.

As much as we love the game itself, the NBA, at its core, is entertainment. We’ve been treated to a packed theater for a big-budget thriller this summer, so let’s relish the prospect of a potentially “lame” monster before it makes its final appearance.