At the age of 30, Kevin Durant has been in the NBA for over a decade now and won pretty much everything someone can win even though his reputation has been tarnished after he joined the Warriors in his pursuit to win championships. There was a lot of discussion lately about Durant’s place on the all-time lists and comparisons to other similar players in NBA history, predominantly Larry Bird.
In an interview on the ESPN’s show “Get Up” Jalen Rose was asked whether he believes Kevin Durant is a better player than Larry Bird, who was also Jalen’s coach during his time with the Indiana Pacers. Jalen gives a slight advantage in this case to Larry Bird even though he did say their skillset is actually quite similar and neither of them had many flaws in their game.
“I’m going with Larry Legend at this point in their careers. When Larry was in college, he led his team to the final four and the finals where they lost to Magic Johnson and Michigan State. As a member of the Boston Celtics, he is the only guy to win three straight MVPs in a league where Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan were present. He and KD have a lot of similar skills. They can both dribble, pass and shot, they can both knock it down from three. They can both play in the post, they both did their best to compete defensively, but perception is the reality.
Rose also said the fans will never forgive Durant for leaving the Thunder to join the 73-9 Warriors. Despite being injured and probably missing the entire next season, by the end of his career, Durant will accumulate quite a lot of stats that will definitely put him as one of the best to ever do it. However, the problem lies within the fact he will forever be portrayed as someone who was not willing to put in extra work to beat the best, while Bird did it several times in a league that had Magic, Jordan and other stars from that era.
“What will happen with KD as his career progresses he is going to put a lot of stats but people will hold it against him that he joined the Golden State Warriors emotionally. If you talk about the greatest players of all-time, five through ten on anybody’s list, Larry Bird will be mentioned and Kevin Durant’s name is not in that category just yet.”