The Premier League Scriptwriters appear to be locked in a storytelling breakdance battle with their NBA counterparts. It started last Thursday with Zlatan, in true Zlatan fashion, announcing his own transfer to Manchester United. Then, over the holiday weekend, Kevin Durant shifted the NBA’s tectonic plates by joining the Golden State Warriors. So. Much. Narrative.
With questions swirling around both moves, we turn to a man ensconced in both football’s transfer window and NBA free agency. Marc Stein is ESPN’s NBA Insider and host of Soccer Today [every Sunday at 9 a.m. CT/10a.m. ET] on 103.3 FM ESPN Radio Dallas alongside Steve Davis. He is also a MASSIVE City fan and GFOP of the highest order [Listen to our Pod with Stein HERE]. In this edition of The Raven we lay out a series of questions and ask Stein: KD vs. Zlatan, Who Ya Got?
MiB: Which move is more surprising?
Stein: Zlatan. Only because I really, really wanted to believe he was on the verge of a move to MLS. Can you imagine him in our league? On these shores? We'd have to cover him like we cover the Warriors or Cavs.
MiB: Who has more to lose?
Stein: Durant. His "transfer" will be under the microscope so much more. It's so much more polarizing. Zlatan, by contrast, has already moved around a bunch. Do we really spend a lot of time dwelling on how his Barca stay didn't quite reach the heights of Peak Zlatan? I can't even remember how many clubs he's played for by now. Can't see how his legacy will be impacted hugely by this one stop.
MiB: Between the lines - who fits in more quickly?
Stein: Durant. It's a mistake to presume that the Warriors will be some sort of turn-key operation -- it's going to take KD some time to find a comfort zone alongside three other All-Stars who need the ball too -- but how Zlatan fits in is always is a significant question mark. As great as he is.
MiB: In the locker room - who fits in more quickly?
Stein: Durant. By several streets as Rog would (probably) say. He has close relationships going into the deal with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Not sure the home dressing room at the biggest ground in the Prem is big enough for Zlatan.